Having long admired the work of Tripod for their impeccable timing and amusing banter I now realise how much I had underestimated their vocal ability.
This show, the result of a collaboration between Eddie Perfect and Tripod, came about because the two acts were thrown together at a Paul Kelly tribute show. Together they worked up a version of Paul Kelly’s ‘Meet Me in the Middle of the Air’. It was posted on youtube and, as they say, went viral. Eddie Perfect is credited with the arrangement and it is simply lovely.
The ever-attractive Gatesy (Stephen Gates) opened the show casually seated on the side of the stage, beer bottle in hand, with a lead into an a capella version of ‘Waltzing Matilda’. He joined Yon, Scotty (Simon Hall and Scott Edgar) and Perfect and they launched into a wonderful series of unaccompanied songs. Pitch perfect (sorry!) and with extraordinarily complicated arrangements, these were thrilling in their tone, depth and length.
As well as lead vocals the audience was treated to some fabulous sound effects and a Phil Spectre-like “wall of sound” backing on all of these numbers.
Both the singing and timing were faultless.
Ostensibly the theme was Australian songs, but it seemed a bit of a stretch to accommodate some of the material included in this theme. I suppose the fact that the Bee Gees grew up in Australia warranted their inclusion with a song from Saturday Night Fever. Not that I am complaining, because this, like every other vocal offering in the show, was breathtakingly clever and superbly harmonized.
From songs by current wunderkind Goyte to Australian Crawl, the artists displayed amazing vocal cohesion, tight harmonies and brilliant vocal texture.
For diehard Tripod fans there was the usual mock bickering asides to each other and Perfect was no slouch in this department either. Anecdotes and staged ‘business’ were great fun.
This show is one that they put together for short tours, in between their other theatrical commitments. It shows! The delivery was fresh and the performers seemed to be having almost as much fun as the audience.
I am pleased to report that the theatre was not full, but very nearly, and the audience response was nothing short of ecstatic. Due reward for what must have been literally weeks and weeks of creative work and rehearsals.
Some of the highlights of a delightful show were ‘Falling in Love with a Cowboy’ with Perfect displaying a wonderfully deep register as well as revelling in the physical representation of said cowboy.
There were wonderful multi-layered versions of Little River Band’s ‘Reminiscing’, the relentlessly radio airplayed ‘Am I Not Pretty Enough?’ and of course, what would an Australian theme be without some Cold Chisel?
A riotously funny, brilliantly executed of ‘The Voice’ followed. Instead of the usual unvarnished chorus the song was chorused with the words “John Farnham, John Farnham”. It brought the house down!
Following thunderous applause and fevered foot stomping, the ensemble returned to give us the song that united these talented performers, ‘Meet Me in the Middle of the Air’. The punters joined in with gusto.
After announcing they would be in the foyer signing the merchandise; CDs, and tea towels (quality endorsed by Eddie Perfect) the gilded quartet exited the stage covered in glory.
I bought a tea towel.
The meet and greet/autograph/photo op queue extended across the foyer and out into the street.
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