It’s hard to believe it, but Tripod (Scott Edgar, Steven Gates and Simon Hall) have been performing together for 20 years. Why, it only feels like yesterday that Scod, Gatesy and Yon were in their matching skivvies or whipping up songs in an hour on Triple J. To celebrate this massive achievement, Tripod have released a songbook titled ‘101 Tripod Hits’ – a collection of their best work over the last two decades. In the show version of 101 Hits, the fates decide the playlist, drawing randomly from the book via a bingo cage and 101 numbered balls.
On the evening I attended, there was a good mix of older and more recent material. The bingo cage delivered songs from as far back as Tosswinkle (‘Building An Enid’) to 2013’s Men of Substance (The hilariously choreographed ‘DILF’). The performances got a little shaky on songs being plucked out for the first time in the run, but it’s incredibly impressive that they’re prepared to play whatever the balls decide. On the whole, the performances were fantastic showcasing not only the trio’s musical talent but also their comedic skill. These songs are still so very, very funny, some even becoming more topical with the passage of time.
In the ‘staff picks’ section of the show, Tripod were joined by a special guest, viollinist Xani Kolac, who played a gorgeous rendition of ‘Let’s Take A Walk’. She then stayed on to accompany a performance of ‘Astronaut’, her effects-laden strings turning the song into something hauntingly beautiful, yet still venting the frustrations of those fat gloves.
If you’re a long-time fan, the nostalgia factor will make this a really special show. I was bobbing up and down with excitement when I heard the opening chords of ‘IKEA’, as I was kind of obsessed with the song back in the day (I was a horrifically nerdy teen). But if you’ve somehow missed Tripod until now, it’s a wonderful way to get a feel for what they’re all about.
Although no two shows will be the same, Tripod have a back catalogue so brilliant, you can be sure you’ll have a great time. 101 Hits is a whole lot of fun and a must-see for fans.
Tripod – 101 Hits is on at The Famous Spiegeltent at the Art Centre until April 17