Hudsie Herman – I don’t give a @#$%!
Hudsie Herman @ Adelaide Town Hall – Meeting Hall
9:30pm, Mon 5 Mar 2012
“Four people!” Hudsie Herman exclaims as he takes to the stage on the final night of his season, “that’s the biggest crowd so far!”
And at that moment I feel sorry for him.
That feeling doesn’t last long, though, because this performance was, without a doubt, one of the most uncomfortably horrid experiences I’ve ever sat through.
But let’s take a step back, because the horror starts early in this tale.
There’s already a bit of angst between my Event Buddy and I – Gardenia didn’t sit well with either of us, and I’m not sure her inclination to see Hudsie Herman was exactly an invitation. Still, the two of us sat alone in the Meeting Hall, which was quite capable of seating another eighty pairs of us. The sound tech at the back of the room had a pained expression on his face; the ticketeers in the Town Hall had sounded genuinely surprised when we’d asked for the tickets. Nothing bode well.
The growing uncomfortable silence is broken when Matt taps me on the shoulder: “Hey, glad to see it’s not just me here! This guy’s great!” His chatty enthusiasm knows no bounds; he just wants to talk and talk and name-drop local comedians and talk. I notice the Artist badge around his neck – I ask what his show is. “Taking the Piss,” he proudly replied. Then, more sheepishly, “it’s a compilation show. I’ve had two spots so far.”
A younger woman comes in and sits by herself a few rows behind us, and starts checking her phone. Matt’s attention turns to her, and he trots out the same introduction… “This guy’s great!” he enthuses again. She looked at him, silently, without blinking. “Hmmmmm,” she downward inflected, and I really started getting worried.
And then Hudsie took to the stage to perform his “damn funny” “melancholy songs” – they’re his words, not mine, and proof that the précis cannot be trusted. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I like to give performers the impression that they’ve got a friend in me – no matter how badly they’re doing, I’ll try to stay with them. I’ll give them positive body language, I’ll smile, I’ll do anything to get them to perform their best.
But after Hudsie states “You can put any words to a Beatles tune and it’s great!” and then attempts to demonstrate his premise with the repeated lyrical refrain of “My [ cat | vet | Mum | girlfriend | best friend ] is dead – I shot them in the head”… well, after the third verse of that, my smile was through gritted teeth. And after some utterly puerile references to cyclones that didn’t even manage any shock value, the smile was gone completely.
To be quite fair, his Chat Roulette song was interesting… for a verse. His Broadband song was inoffensive… for a verse. But the Shopping List song (as requested by Matt – when he wasn’t checking Facebook on his phone, he was yelling out suggestions) was just complete rubbish, and still managed to be in the better half of Hudsie’s material.
Look, Hudsie Herman may be able to play the piano pretty well (or at least perfunctorily). But I found his “songs” to be pointless, painful, and even insulting. “You should go to a nudist beach once,” he sings, before half-rhyming about masturbation and arse-fucking in a completely embarrassing manner. This performance couldn’t have ended soon enough; we left as quick as it was possible to manage.
But the terror wasn’t over yet: Matt bounded after us like a needy puppy. “Yeah it’s a real shame that more people didn’t come and see him because I think he’s got real potential and his songs are really great and more people should come out during the Fringe and…”
My Event Buddy looked at me, pointing through to Pirie St. “Is this the way out?”
My (loud; desperate) reply of “Yes” is drowned out by Matt’s enthusiastic “That depends where you want to go! What street are you after?”
“The closest one,” she said firmly, with a chill so intense that Matt the Puppy’s tail dropped between his legs.