Sparrow-Folk – Nest Friends

By Colin Flaherty

Accessorised with ukuleles, backing tracks and lots of sparkly / shiny things, Sparrow-Folk: Fox (Catherine Crowley) and Lark (Juliet Moody), sing us amusing songs about the trials and tribulations of the modern woman. While this set list doesn’t exactly stick it to the patriarchy, these are silly tunes that keep everyone chuckling.

While the duo can certainly belt out a tune, they don’t have the angelic harmonies of other musical comedy groups. This was amplified by the low volume of the backing track (lowered probably due to noise bleed issues in this venue earlier this festival) and the fact that they often sing in character.

“This isn’t a music review” I hear you shout, “Are they funny?”

I’m getting to that!

They cheekily compare themselves to fellow Canberrans the Doug Anthony All Stars and while they do regularly get raunchy, they aren’t nearly as subversive. Endless double entendres are used to poke fun at the inadequacies of their men-folk and when covering the annoying minutiae of life, they get plenty of knowing chuckles from the ladies. There are some clever tunes that delve into the minds of these two quirky characters as they sing about their off centre internal thoughts and generally act wacky while tackling serious topics. They have an impressive party piece where they construct a song using text messages from random punter’s phones and a rather disturbing puppet performance shocks and titillates.

Just like all comedy duos before them, Sparrow-Folk incorporate humorous bickering into their set with Lark usually playing the silly one and Fox the Straight Woman. The way that these flare-ups are handled mid song is odd to say the least. The tune grinds to a halt, leaving the audience wondering if that’s the end of the song (it usually is). They end on a clunky Eurovisionesque reveal that doesn’t lead cleanly into their final number, making them look awkward for a song celebrating being strong women.

Nest Friends might be a fun show for a girls naughty night out on the sauce. Gather your Gal Pals and have a rollicking time.

Nest Friends is on at the Imperial Hotel until April 22

Sparrow-Folk: SuBIRDia

By Ron Bingham
Awww, this was so Aussie I almost felt homesick. The stage has a Hill’s Hoist clothesline as the centrepiece and the premise of the show is that we are at a backyard party for the people in the neighbourhood.

Our hosts, Catherine Crowley and Juliet Moody from the lovely little town of Canberra, invite everyone in and entertain us with some deliciously saucy songs on the subject of marital sex, ageing, breastfeeding (which apparently caused a ruckus with the Daily Mail – not hard to do as all you have to say is the word breast and they’ll get offended as an excuse to print ten pages of them), male genitals and female genitals (lovely puppets), squirrels! (with an excellent dancer drawn from the audience), a special costume changing song to the accompaniment of a kazoo, an insight into why and how some people find themselves attracted to the game of rugby and much more.

There is a lot of local gossip and a little bitchiness, some swearing and adult concepts, but the ladies are so lovely and charming that there is no possibility that anyone could be offended by them (well, apart from the aforementioned DM). The fabulous costumes and props for the show are worth the ticket price alone, but you also get an hour of fab songs (google the breastfeeding song for a hint of what’s in store for you). This show is highly recommended and should be on everyone’s list of things to see this festival.