Edinburgh Fringe reports and news from
2003 & 2004
30.8.04 - And the curtain falls
Another year of Fringe over. Well, almost.
One more show for the guys tonight. I've heard many things
about this years show. Some great, some good and some pretty
crap. But hey, overall the guys done good. Don't forget they
are loitering in the UK a while longer and performing at the
Theatre from September 8-18. And maybe some other things
too. I'll keep you posted.
26.8.04 Travesty! Hrm wasn't that a BeeGees
Depending on who/what you read the omission
of Flight of The Conchords from this years Perrier shortlist
is either a) "a
travesty" or b) "mildly
surprising, but not a serious outrage"
Having not seen this years show, or any
of the others on the shortlist, far be it from me to comment,
but for the reviewer/critic who said b, I am wishing for a
pile of dog poo to find itself stuck to the bottom of said
Congrats to ProBono for getting the correct
answer first try. And for all the Ed snippets. And pics. And
25.8.04 - Inertia, inaction and induced
...and that is just the show apparently.
The guys are becoming masters of the understated dry wit it
seems. Some of the people seeing the show are getting its
meant to be funny. Others *ahem* seem to be missing the point.
Still, each to their own.
I pondered making some stuff up for a few
seconds. Then I realised that meant I would have to type more.
And I am feeling way to lazy to attempt such a feat. So, instead
I spent hours trawling the web for snippets and dug up some
pretty useless stuff to post. Not all of it is useless I should
hasten to add. But come on people... somebody out there must
have the all important Jemaine pic after he takes his helmet
off? Or Bret when he pulls one of his 'faces' You know the
ones I mean? When he hits the high notes....
21.8.04 - More snippets... and what about
those sheep eh?
From the Herald
by Tim Abrahams
'Flight Of The Conchords erstwhile folk
parodists have now become straightforward parodists. Their
musical pastiches have an R'n'B and hip-hop feel to them.
Their opening ballad about a failed romantic liaison in a
park, however, sets the atmosphere by refusing to take anything
seriously whatsoever. F o' The C, to which the chaps have
decided to abbreviate their name this year, are so thoroughly
silly that a song like She's So Hot, Boom! which probably
started out as a pastiche of an R'n'B tune ends up as an excuse
for them to jump around a bit. The Conchords have wisely made
their comedy a little more physical although they still glory
in having as little subject to their buffoonery as possible.'
And an interview with the guys.
Someone had to do it. And work in a sheep reference somewhere.
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
WITH FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
By Matt Brito
At first it was the lamb. Then Peter Jackson's
Lord of the Rings. And now, completing the trilogy of reasons
for putting New Zealand on the map is Flight Of The Conchords.
Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are FOTC,
the award winning 'fourth most popular folk parody' duo, currently
wowing sell-out audiences at the Edinburgh Festival.
Their debut show at the 2003 Fringe earned
them a prestigious Perrier Award nomination and they have
also received critical acclaim at the Melbourne and Montreal
Read the whole thing HERE
19.8.04 - Chortle review... We like
The modest brilliance of Bret McKenzie and
Jermaine Clement has firmly, and rightly, established them
as festival favourites around the world.
And while Flight Of The Conchords bill themselves
as New Zealand's fourth most popular folk parody group, it's
not just the music, but also the low-key chit-chat between
them that has made their show such a delight.
Their 2004 offering, promising 'all new
material, all new banter', starts off as meekly as you could
possibly imagine, with the murmured first half-syllable of
'hi' being greeted rapturously. This is an act with a fan
base, that's for sure.
Then we're straight into the parodies, and
a wonderful song about the social awkwardness of meeting someone
you can't quite properly recall, hilariously updating the
theme behind Lerner and Loewe's I Remember It Well.
With all the energy of a sloth on dope,
the pair then reveal their concern for the Issues, without
ever quite divulging what those might be, as an introduction
to their socially aware song Think About It, a sublime mix
of Aids awareness and funk.
What it demonstrates perfectly is the naivety
that permeates their act, the innocence that means however
well-meaning their intentions or intense their passions, they
lack the nous to capture it in song. That gap between intent
and execution is where the comedy lies, and these talented
pair mine plenty of it.
Take, for example, their tribute to a lover's
beauty, which includes such a list of caveats to make it meaningless,
too precisely literal in its lyrics to be romantic.
While the songs are as good as anything
they've ever done, some of the talk between the tracks isn't
quite up to par. The extracts from a spoof radio sci-fi series
don't really work, and we keep having to return to it, and
the idea of having their spontaneous audience interaction
carefully scripted in a tiny notebook seems tired already.
But these are not major parts of the show,
and when they let their music do the talking, they are untouchable
and it's for this that the fans come. By Steve Bennett. Chortle
18.8.04 - Perrier buzz... or lack of it
Article ran today in the Telegraph about
possible Perrier Award contenders at the Fringe. Seems the
Conchords are Mark Monahan's tip for taking it this year.
Apparently lack of buzz abounds on potential noms this year.
No one new is catching the eye and the Conchords have been
the standout show for Monahan. He says
'I've been recommending Jeremy Lion and
Count Arthur Strong, but no act has made me laugh as long
or hard as Flight of the Conchords. Their demolition of every
pop-music and stand-up convention is so dry, merciless and
charming that, this year, there has really been no one to
Read the article HERE
16.8.04 - Of cults, Prince and an audience
who drank too much...
before seeing the show.
"Looks like wandering acoustic guitar-slingers
Flight Of The Conchords aren’t a cult any more –
the crowd overspills into the aisle at this year’s show
and stomps in and out to the loo throughout the new songs
about Wednesday-night sex, mistaken identity and all the “issues”
in the world, which could only happen in the mainstream. The
problems of increasing fame have in fact been addressed in
a blistering new track addressing their vicious, hateful rivals
on the folk-parody scene. But they don’t seem to be
any less tunefully imaginative. Proper songwriters express
their deepest thoughts, Flight Of The Conchords explore their
idlest ones from implausible verse to raucous chorus, and
the effect is actual delight. If that lost genius Prince ever
heard their falsetto love song for a semi-beautiful woman,
he would cry purple sequins onto his frock coat, and go back
to making great records."
Taken from The
Acid Art House, Sunday Herald - Glasgow. By Stephen Phelan
What did we learn here? Well, the guys are
mainstream because they have a big(ger) audience who pee alot
and Bret can sound a bit Prince like . O and Prince was a
genius. And is lost somewhere. If anyone sees him give him
a map and a clue so he can find his way back. So kind *sniff*
15.8.04 - Demetri says
Celebrity choice: Demetri Martin, comedian.
This ran in the Telegraph
"I did a show with Flight of the Conchords
in New York recently, and I love their new songs. Describing
them as two guys with guitars doing electronic songs does
not do them justice: there's something original and brilliant
about how they're funny.
"It's subtle, but it's also committed.
Mixing music and comedy is a dangerous recipe, but they pull
11.8.04 - Telegraph review
Edinburgh reports: sonic boomtime. Mark
Monahan reviews Flight of the Conchords at Reid Hall and Gary
Le Strange at Pod Deco
'If there were an award for driest act on
the Fringe, musical parodists Flight of the Conchords would
soar away with it.
Like their Edinburgh debut, which went effortlessly
on to 2003's Perrier shortlist, the New Zealand singing and
guitar-playing duo's follow-up, Lonely Knights, is a deliciously
witty tapestry of mickey-taking songs and deadpan banter.'
10.8.04 - Interwesting fings
You may remember last year Brain Logan reviewing/interviewing
FoTC during the Fringe. And liking it a lot. This year he
saw one of the early shows and his review is up online now.
He gives the show 4 out of 5. And what does he say? Well....
Brian Logan - Tuesday August 10,
2004 - The Guardian
'Last year, "New Zealand's fourth most
popular folk parody act" were still late-night Fringe
underdogs. This year, they are greeted like rock gods. With
their superior wordplay, virtuoso musicality and superbly
gormless banter, they've taken comedy song to a whole new
level. Their latest collection of tunes isn't as spectacularly
funny this year, and the venue is more suited to classical
music but there's so much right about Bret McKenzie and Jermaine
Clement's act that an hour in their company is still sublime.....
whole review here]
Flight of the Conchords: Lonely
Knights by Fiona Sheperd
How novel - a folk parody duo playing in
a traditional (civilised, air-conditioned) folk venue. New
Zealand’s Flight of the Conchords were the sweeter gems
of last year’s Fringe, the folk parody group you could
tell your friends about without ruining your credibility.
Now they’re back, still looking like mildly bemused
supply teachers, with a virtually all-new set and a hesitant
shift of musical direction which they have dubbed Folk ’n’
The judicious use of breathless falsetto
opens up a whole new world of ham-fisted seduction, faux romanticism
and songs about shagging with your socks on. While they are
in a Marvin Gaye frame of mind, they pastiche the protest
soul genre with Think About It, Think, Think About It, a song
about "issues". Later, they unleash the folk gangster
within and experiment with Egyptian-themed dumb show. Crazy
times, crazy guys.
Just as funny as the songs are the subtle
verbal exchanges between alpha nerd Jemaine and the heroically
oblivious Bret, which seems so effortlessly off-the-cuff they
must come from precision rehearsal.
Throughout, the humour is gentle and understated,
with flashes of outright hilarity.
The possibilities for the Flight of the
Conchords’ future artistic direction are boundless.
Instead, Bret chooses the "ragga" setting.
9.8.04 Scotman article
The Scotsman ran a nice story about Flight
of The Conchords. No longer online so some snippets from it
for you anyhoo -
"What we do is what we do," nods
McKenzie sagely. "We’re not stand-ups and we’re
not musicians. We are this weird in-between space.
"We’ve been working on the show
and we’ve tried a few new styles. It’s all new
songs and all new banter. I’m not sure what the term
for it is in the UK but we have done a tune in a ragga or
dancehall style. It’s called ‘She is so hot, boom!’
The punctuation is important."
The Independant ran a good article
the other day and FoTC got a mention. *snips* 'As always at
the festival, there will also be the usual quirky acts that
rely on music (the inspired New Zealand duo, Flight of the
Conchords, and Duel, in which a piano and a cello battle it
out on stage) or spoof characters (the faux-New Romantic singer
Gary Le Strange, or the send-up cabbie-turned-relationship-counsellor
Keith Barret); or out-and-out stunts (the self-explanatory
Mark Watson's Overambitious 24-Hour Show).' *end snip*
Guardian ran an article. Gave their top
5 Fringe acts to catch. Guess who was listed..... 'The Flight
of the Conchords They sing folk songs and come from New Zealand.
Yet they could be the best comedy on the fringe.'
Chortle have a bookies betting story up.
Someone has put the Conchords joint favourite to win the Perrier
award along with Adam Hills. Thing is, it was all set before
the Fringe kicked off and who is to say what might happen.
We can only wait and see. Read the story HERE
6.8.2004 - Snippets incoming already
And its not even started yet. The Scotsman
has an article about ticket sales for this year's Fringe.
Quote time 'The Gilded Balloon’s head of press, Fraser
Smith, said sales had been "fantastic", with last
year’s Perrier nominees Flight of the Conchords selling
well.' Read the rest HERE
2003 Fringe news
Perrier Award winner announced...
and its not Flight of the Conchords. Would
like to say good on the guys for getting a nomination. And
that some of the best (imho) comedians out there never actually
won the thing, but were nominated. I think the guys will do
just fine keeping on as they are.
On a review note (yes there are more), one
from Alex O'Connell at The Times. What can I say except 'Jermaine'?
Who he? And ouch 'stoner humour'. Can't please everyone I
Another from the Independant I missed. Was
up on 12 August. Mirthful chortling reading '.....the real
story is the tension between the pair, or to be strictly accurate,
the lack of it. Clement is positively comatose at times, and
his robot impression is considerably more animated than his
And yes, even the NZ government has something
to say on the Flight of the Conchords Perrier nom. Read it
at Scoop HERE
Perrier Comedy Awards shortlist is out!
Weds 20 August - And guess
who is folking on it! Flight of the Conchords
head the list (alphabetical order and all that). Read about
and over at the Perrier site HERE
. The BBC website has a page up on the awards and has odds
on the Conchords winning at 4-1, go read it HERE
Good on the guys for the nomination!
Conchords are Monahan's choice in the
The guys are Mark Monahan's choice for the
Perrier Comedy Award it seems. Writing on August 18 in the
Telegraph about the possible nominees he says of Flight of
'And so, finally, to Kiwi guitar-playing
duo Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aka Flight of the
Conchords. In High on Folk, they demolish virtually every
genre of pop music, uttering priceless lines in such quantities
that it's hard to know where to start ("How come we've
reached this fork in the road," they wail at one point,
"and yet it cuts like a knife?"). Lou Reed, Eminem,
drippy ballads - little escapes their attention, and, as both
musicians and an ultra-dry double act, they're faultless.
In fact, Bret and Jermaine would get my vote for the prize,
if only for having wilfully invented "folk parody",
the most unpromising comic genre imaginable, and honed it
to such side-splitting perfection.'
Read the whole Telegraph article HERE
The Guardian ran a snippet about the Perrier
Wookyhoo! Itsa another review!
Supersonic Laughs – by James
Folk has been the butt of many a joke and
these guys see no reason to avoid that – which is something
we should be thankful for.
No puns, please, about crashing 1960s aeronautical
icons, or about Richard Branson snapping up a fleet of supersonic
craft. Were Branson to back this duo, it would be a wise investment.
Last year the scruffy New Zealand pair could scarcely get
arrested in the Gilded Balloon caves. Now they are the venue’s
number one ticket, thanks largely to constant tip-offs from
most of the Fringe’s big comics. Read more
Tree huggers unite..... erm.... to hug trees??
Priorities in order here people! Festival
Their hot hotnesses are out hotting each
other in the hotness stakes of hottiness in the hottie filled
city that is (for now at least still) known as Edinburgh.
Fest’s Top 5 Festival hunks - 1. Flight
of The Conchords
Both of them, although we’re currently
fancying the Bret McKenzie half of the Kiwi comedy folk duo
most. So lovely are his curly brown locks, unshaven chin and
quite frankly orgasmic bone structure, that
he’s inspired a whole top five list of hunks (3 &
5 aside) who look, well, a little like him. Dark, dusky, sexy,
stubbly blokes are so where it’s at. Especially ones
who can play the guitar and do David Bowie impressions. Drool
over Flight of the Conchords at the Gilded Balloon Caves until
This snippet ran in the 'fest' paper on
Wednesday 13th August. Mucho merriment at that one.
Monsters of.... folk - Guardian interview
An interview! Jemaine and Bret and talk
of being a 'hot ticket' and this year's 'buzz comedy act.'
Read it HERE
Right I'll count to 100 Bret and you hide ... 1 2
Guardian review, Thursday August 7th
Now I have to admit I am not usually a reader
of this paper. However, while surfing looking for reviews
this one sprung up. Snippets such as 'You can't do Proclaimers
meets Kraftwerk without musical skill. Clement and McKenzie
have that in abundance. And the lyrics are a joy. "How
come we've reached a fork in the road, and yet it cuts like
a knife?" sings Clement. And "Why can't a heterosexual
guy tell a heterosexual guy that his booty is fly?"
' make it a worthwhile browse. One reviewer impressed! Many
more to go :)
Read it in full HERE
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