It’s been twenty years since Tripod first got together, appearing on Red Faces to expose, hilariously, the fact that Oasis reused the same chords in all their major songs.
To celebrate, they have launched a book of sheet music for Tripod 101 Hits and kicked off an Australian tour at the Brisbane Comedy Festival.
Armed with a bingo-spinny cage (yes, that’s the scientific term) that they borrowed from their accountant, Scod, Yon and Gatesy randomly select songs to play from their repertoire.
They insisted so strongly and frequently that the song selection was random, and I was instantly suspicious. So this reviewer went back a second night and can confirm that the song selection is indeed entirely random as promised. Consequently, Tripod claimed their show is ‘unreviewable’ as it will be different every time.
Time to put biases on the table: I grew up with Tripod– their Song in an Hour challenges on Triple J were a highlight of my morning commute to school, and their music made me laugh through the stress of senior high-school. I have seen them live multiple times and they are a delight.
Their songs can be silly-funny, but also poignant-funny. They often subvert musical genres, anticipating preconceptions of where a song is heading both musically and lyrically, then deliberately veering off in an unexpected direction that highlights the absurdities of music, language and life.
They are also consummate musicians- their harmonies are frequently complex and always tight, and their sound effects are fabulous.
In this show, the random selection of songs meant a mix of older and new material, as well as airtime for songs disliked by their manager.
As well as the music, a Tripod performance is special for its on-stage antics. The group have always engaged in gentle ribbing of each other on stage- but after twenty years they have this (and audience interaction) down to a fine art.
They exude genuine warmth and enjoyment for what they do and it’s wonderful to see that after two decades they can still make each other laugh.
A shout out to Yon for his fabulous sound effects and his virtuoso air violin, to Gatesy for the most adorably wholesome attempts to be sexy, and to Scod for his glasses.
Happy 20th Birthday, Tripod! Many happy returns (to Brisbane, please).