In their twentieth anniversary year, Tripod is letting fate decide which songs they sing each night. It’s a nostalgia trip for performers and audience alike.
It’s always a shock to the system to remember the ‘90s were nearly 20 years ago, but at least this show – a selection from Tripod’s 101 Hits songbook – softens the blow with some classic comedy. The boys are in good form, remembering where they came from, and almost always remembering the songs selected by the turn of a bingo cage.
Last night they began with a short ode to ‘Bubble Helicopters’, followed by ‘Thank you, The Wheel’ – a song about how human ingenuity has lead to videos of people injuring themselves on YouTube. Then came a flashback to the days of Song-in-an-Hour on Triple J, when the boys wrote ‘Goodbye Little Alarm Clock’, a requiem for Adam Spencer’s old timepiece.
A more recent song, ‘The Blueprint’ from their 2013 show Men of Substance, is the story of families moving into cool neighbourhoods and closing all the local pubs down. Then the super quick ‘Fear of Shorts’ followed by ‘Melbourne Girl’ – two songs from their Pod August Night shows they did in the mid-2000s. Then ‘Ugly Men with Beautiful Women’.
‘Let’s Take a Walk (When We Found That Body)’ dates back to their live album Fegh Maha, but was later performed on SkitHouse. One of my favourite songs of theirs ‘Xmas Song (I Hate Your Family)’ was next; they first performed this at the Prince Pat in the late 90s (and is on their second album Open Slather). This was one of the first songs where I realised they were really great songwriters and not just funny guys with nice voices, so it was great to hear it on stage again.
‘I Was the Only Shepherd’ is about the only shepherd who kept watching the sheep, so he missed the birth of Christ.
And then, after the boys described each other as Fonzie, Gollum and Where’s Wally, they took suggestions from the audience of what song to sing last. I shouted “Shandy” hoping for ‘A Shandy Too Far’, which I think is all the way from 1997. But they ended up going with ‘Ghost Ship’ – one of their most-performed songs from their first story-driven show, Tosswinkle the Pirate. Milky discharge!
The boys wondered if people seeing them for the first time last night would have any idea what was going on. This mix-tape of a show is full of surprises; a perfectly random tribute to where the boys have been over the last twenty years. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen them before, or if you’ve seen every one of their shows. With 101 Hits in their songbook, it probably wouldn’t hurt to go every night – to try to get bingo or to get your request sung.
Shandy! Cuckold! I Will Be There!