Comedy review: Tripod, MICF

After 25 years, the lads are still showcasing their musical absurdities.

Three men, two guitars and a keyboard take to the stage. Tripod have been performing for over two decades now, harmonising, cracking silly dad jokes and picking on one another with fraternal glee. Their latest show is more of the same, although this iteration is patchy.

For those who have never seen them, they specialise in surreal, weirdarse songs that sometimes work, and other times don’t. Their final effort in the hour-long show is their most successful: a gospel-style, happy-clappy tribute to atheism (‘Hallelujah there is no God!’). This is Tripod at their wittiest and most playful. The opening number, too, is cute – a ditty about the anarchy of jazz music (‘There is no such thing as wrong … everything fits’).

Other contributions border on bad taste and groanful silliness, like a plea to white supremacists to stop co-opting hitherto innocent hand gestures and a song about watching a Chernobyl musical on TV. Sometimes they are a little too clever for their own good. A song about double retro required too much prep explanation. ‘Sex in a Tesla’ meanwhile is discomfortingly juvenile.

Still, there’s no denying their musicality; the lads harmonise beautifully and individually each has a strong voice that amplifies around the gorgeous Spiegeltent, even if their bantering between each other and random interactions with the audience can feel a bit rusty. Perhaps COVID interruptions have affected their overall performance.

Tripod is playing at the Spiegeltent until 23 April 2023 as part of the Melbourne International Comedy FestivalTickets: $35-$45

Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on