Graham Clone (Ross Daniels) and all girl back up band The Density (“Nebulous Rust” on virtual keyboard and “Airlock Ice Planet” on various children’s toys) are back to take us to the futuristic world of the Nineteen Eighties with their brand of electronic new wave pop. If you’ve never heard of Graham and/or missed his previous show The Future is Incorrect, fear not; he describes his back story as an artist who had his four weeks of fame before disappearing into obscurity.
The songs themselves are a mixed bag in terms of their humorous content. Some have wonderfully strange lyrics using plenty of wacky science fiction imagery. One highlight puts to rest the plagiarism charges levelled at Clone by a certain English performer. Others have minimalist lyrics and rely entirely on the band’s performance for all the laughs.
This show relies heavily on nostalgia of the Eighties for the majority of the humour so some of it may be a little lost on those who didn’t experience it the first time. The mere mention of popular eighties artists is often enough to get a laugh of recognition. They poke gentle fun at the absurdities of the genre including the fashion, the seriousness of the performers and their musical abilities. In the role of Graham’s backing band, the girls did their fair share of po-faced, ridiculously literal hand actions to the lyrics.
Between the songs things aren’t played too straight and the banter is on the light side, ensuring that the show doesn’t become too accurate to be funny. Graham regularly broke the fourth wall by regularly commenting on the audience response to his jokes and explicitly stating that he was trying to make Airlock corpse. The stifled smiles and laughs by the entire “band” clearly demonstrated that they were having as much fun as the audience.
The show features a couple of guest performers who contribute with a cover version of an Eighties classic. On this particular night we witnessed The Scourge of Russia (Damian Callinan) dance up a storm and Teenie Turner (Bev Killick) singing “Nutbush City Limits”. Just like most of the other songs, the humour comes from the guest’s wacky hijinks rather than from the song itself.
This is a fun hour of Eighties nostalgia performed by a true fan of the music. Children of the era will lap it up and are sure to have a brilliant time.
Graham Clone : Virtually Live is on at The Butterfly Club until April 19