Tripod – Men of Substance

by Lisa Clark (with help from Virginia Graham)

The members of Tripod all recently turned forty and what’s lovely is that instead of being in denial or panicking they are embracing and celebrating their maturity through song and comic banter. So yes it’s another fabulously entertaining Tripod show that’s pretty much in the same style that they’ve been doing for sixteen years, if now with the surprising addition of interpretive dance.

Generally Tripod’s audience have matured along with them. They prove that forty comes to all of us; even World Famous Comedy Superstars and the songs are a funny and melancholy commentary about what that means. The opener Adult Contemporary is a sweet gentle acceptance of the way your musical taste has become closer to your parents’ than to your teenaged self. Triangle of Happiness is a surprisingly dark look at feeling trapped by the life you’ve chosen.
After the first few songs you could be worried that perhaps they might have forgotten their nerdy game boy roots but with their funky ode to maths and taxes, BAS Time and Waiting for the Game to Load you realise that while they have mellowed, their underlying geek still reigns.

Tripod’s songs have also matured over the years, with the musicality at times being sublime and rather than ditties about kitchen implements, sailors or Darryl Somers meeting the baby Jesus, they have occasionally become political and are better for it. Some of their best songs in recent years have been Santa’s Papers and Suicide Bomber both seemingly gentle in style with a surprisingly vicious humour and brutal message. This show does not let us down with an attack on the gentrification of the inner suburbs that is destroying the live Melbourne music scene in the gorgeous protest song The Blueprint.

I saw this show in its first outing at The Arts Centre last year and appreciated seeing Men of Substance in its mature state. The adorably sexy DILF had been placed earlier in the show and now works as a call back to earlier references to MILFs. Tripod have the benefit of being a band rather than a straight comedy act which means that you can see their show more than once and never tire of hearing their fabulous songs. Gaybar was another highlight and is a great singalong for the audience. This was a launch for their album which features not only the songs from this show but also some older songs that fit into the theme such as Thursday and Yon’s fear of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, Climate Change.

All three of the boys (or should that be Men) have their time to shine, the banter is still funny and their harmonies are still the best in the business. I love Yon’s trumpet and Scod’s organ adding to the sound. If you love them, you won’t miss them, if you don’t know them you’ve been cruelly deprived. If you want a sure thing for the Comedy Festival, go and see Tripod, you can safely take your family and friends and have a fabulous time.

Tripod are performing at The Famous Spiegeltent at The Arts Centre