The description of Tripod’s show 101 Hits, for this years’ Melbourne International Comedy Festival states that if you like a mixture of their old and new stuff, this show is for you. This statement is a hundred per cent accurate, which is rather unfortunate if you head there with no prior knowledge of the band. Sure, you’ll have a few laughs but it’s not something that will compel you to see their next show or hunt down any old material.
The premise of 101 Hits revolves around a metal cage filled with numbered balls. The ones drawn out will have corresponding numbers to Tripod songs and the band will attempt to play this song with no prior rehearsal or practice. It’s a good concept in theory, albeit a little lacking in imagination for a show, but it heavily relies upon the audience being a big fan of the band previously. There’s nothing in this show for a newbie to the material.
This isn’t to say that the members of Tripod; Scott Edgar (Scod), Simon Hall (Yon) and Steven Gates (Gatesy) aren’t funny guys. Their banter upon stage is definitely chuckle worthy and deliberately played up as each member fits into a particular character. Yon and Gatesy as the somewhat childish, irresponsible one with Scod filling the role of the more adult member of the band, insisting they focus.
The show leaves you feeling unfulfilled after the 60 minutes running time, with no obvious ending other than them noting that this’ll be the last song. The enthusiasm of the audience on this particular night wasn’t the best, though this could be attributed to the fact that it appeared many were waiting in line for over 30 minutes as the show began around 20 minutes late. The venue also may not have been the best for a stage performance where a visual was necessary, the booths scattered around the edges of The Famous Spiegeltent meant a number of audience members were awkwardly arching their necks around to get a view as they were seated with their backs to the stage by the staff.
This isn’t to say that another night may not be fantastic, the random nature of the show means that a particular night may be full of Tripod’s most memorable and energetic songs, which would leave the audience applauding long after. The songs performed by Tripod are certainly entertaining and credit has to be given to them for remembering every song that is drawn (although there are a few understandable lyrical mistakes in a couple).
By the end the whole show felt as though it were a promotional piece to sell Tripod’s new songbook as they frequently made mention of it being for sale after the show. It’s a show to see if you’re a long time fan of Tripod and are happy to see them rock out to their songs old and new. If you’re after a guaranteed entertaining hour though it may be best to choose something else.
As an added note for anyone wanting to take someone younger; although the MICF website states that the show is suitable for audiences 13+ there is a large amount of F-bombs dropped during and may not be entirely suitable.
Tripod 101 Hits will be at The Famous Spiegeltent 24th March – 17th April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets can be purchased here.