Tom Tom Club (FringeTIX)
Tom Tom Club @ The Umbrella Revolution
7:15pm, Wed 14 Mar 2007
Right. This is a Full Disclosure announcement: I was completely pissed when I saw this show. Don’t know quite how that happened, but it probably has something to do with being a two-pot screamer, sinking a couple of pints after a hot walk into the city, and the proverbial One For The Road.
Be that as it may, some of the following “recounted” events may not have actually occurred. So, ummmm, sorry about that, but I’m doing my best here. Which, on some days, is pretty bloody ordinary. Forgive me.
After a short chat with the rockin’ chap who guards The Garden Shed, we – the assembled throng – file into the Umbrella Revolution. It’s pretty much a full house; there’s obviously some hard-core Ben Walsh fans present, as well as those who are leveraging the cheap “Preview” ticket pricing (I fit into both categories). The house lights drop and, with someone in the audience wittily spouting “oh no, a burglar”, a stereotypically hooded spray-painter came out to deface a pre-coloured board to spell “Tom Tom”. This felt utterly ill-advised in my drunken stupor and, attempting to remember it now, it seems even sillier; because the act of the spraying takes so long, it completely dispels any built-up vibe from the audience.
But the curtains part, there’s a DJ scratching away, Walsh comes out for a bash, and some well-maintained chaps have a bit of a jump and a flip. And then it really gets going.
It’s a high energy performance – the scratching and beatboxing is upbeat, fast and inventive; Walsh is stunning, as usual, especially when surrounded by suspended drums and he’s whacking things in 360 degrees in the vertical plane; and the acrobatic part of the act (flips, feats of strength, ribbon & see-saw) felt edgy, mainly because I’m not entirely convinced that they were in control. There’s an impromptu MC battle between Walsh and Tom Thum, the Omnichord makes another appearance, and… um… I think there might have been another drink involved.
Despite protestations by Walsh to the contrary, this was a cohesive bit of entertainment – full of enthusiasm, energy, and imagination. If they trim that wanky spray-painting thing off the start and magically sober me up, I’d rave more.
Oddly enough, two sightings stick in my mind from either side of this performance: stumbling on the way to Tom Tom Club, I spied the gorgeous Kate Box chatting away with friends at Al Fresco. No big deal… until I spied her dining at Silko post-show. My drunken haze convinced me that it was destiny that I start stalking her, so impressed was I with her work in 4:48 Psychosis (and all-round Hotty McHotness); but commonsense insisted that I go and have a curry and try to sober up a bit.