The Wet Spots
The Wet Spots @ The Spiegeltent
10:00pm, Fri 13 Mar 2009
Cass King and John Woods, a Canadian husband-and-wife team that sings about all things bawdy – threesomes, masturbation fantasies, and a variety of fetishes – sounds like it could be a cracker. Their performance owes more to vaudevillian flash than a straight music-and-comedy number; but that’s fine, that’s their adopted style. So when they stroll onstage, all glitter and smiles, and proclaim themselves the world’s most popular bisexual polyamorous act, curiosity is piqued.
Opening with the cheeky “Do You Take It?” (in the ass), the songs are cheerful enough – sure, there’s a predictable pattern of quiet guitar / ukelele strums underneath clean & coy lyrics before exploding into profane chorus, but they’re pleasant enough – and mildly amusing for the first half of each song. But by the time you’ve heard the third iteration of the chorus, the novelty’s worn off and you feel like The Wet Spots are just padding the show out… “Don’t Lick My Toes” most clearly demonstrates this, the punchline to the joke given away thirty seconds into a three minute song. Woods, unfortunately, is criminally underused as a vocalist; the emphasis seems to be on King spurring the crowd (“oh look, a woman talking about sex“), with quick asides to Woods for the odd bi-comment.
My main points of interest with The Wet Spots were, poetically, the dead spots when they turned to the audience. Whether this is typical Adelaidean “dance, monkey-boy” attitude, or whether it indicates that there’s still some embarrassment & taboo associated with sex, is up for debate; a bit of both, leaning on the latter, I reckon. Still, their audience mark for the night – Keith – was a bloody good sport during the spanking sequence, and the whole audience got into the spirit with a great masturbation singalong.
At the end of the day, The Wet Spots lack both the subtlety and punch of (say) Rich Hall‘s songs (especially in his Otis Lee Crenshaw role) – but they’re much more entertaining (and educational) than Mark Butler. Just don’t go expecting exemplary cabaret.