haze2003purple's Review of Flight Of The Conchords, Flight Of The Conchords
5th Jun 2010
Value for money:
Flight of the Conchords review live @Manchester Apollo 11/05/10
There are two types of people in the UK (maybe even in the world!) people who love Flight of the Conchords and people who have never heard of them. I fall into the former, so it was with great anticipation that I got up early to book pre-sale tickets to see Flight of the Conchords live, of course as I predicted the few dates the originally put out sold like hot cakes and they had to add more dates. I will admit I did wonder how they would come across on stage, could major worldwide TV success have gone to their heads?
I knew when we turned up to the gig and members of the audience were dressed up as robots that it was going to be a night to remember! Within seconds of Bret and Jemaine arriving onstage with robot heads on I knew that they were projecting the same, sweet, sensitive, humble characters that they have portrayed in the past and in the TV shows, Jemaine is funnier in real life and Bret is even more adorable. As with any gig after the first song (I won't ruin it by telling you the whole set list! Although I think it's flexible) they said Hello to the audience and started talking about sheets, the audience were flummoxed but upon further investigation I have discovered online that in NZ they call bed linen Manchester! They then asked where the name Manchester derived from no-one knew, "you should Google yourself Manchester!" Jemaine responded to the audiences silence ( I have also since looked to see where the name Manchester originates and it's actually from "mam" meaning "Breast like hill" and "ceaster" meaning "town" maybe the Mancunians among us knew and just didn't want to shout out "Breast like hill town!") They had however heard about the media calling Manchester "Gunchester" and asked everyone to wave their guns in the air!
As you can imagine the songs were as funny, if not more so, live. However for most people it is always the little things that are different show to show that the audience look out for, for example a heckler kept shouting to them, so Jemaine simply replied "shut up" in a monotone unthreatening manner before explaining "I've used that one before" My favourite parts had to be Bret doing whale noises and Jemaine doing "Albi the racist dragon" in a rather convincing Ringo Starr accent. They also told us who had been declared Prime minister in the time we had been in the theatre to which a heckler queried "can't you do it?" I think our country would be a much better place with Bret and Jemaine in charge rather than Cameron and Clegg!
I suppose as well gushing about how amazing they were at making people laugh, the quality of the music and the way they seemed to know exactly what the audience wanted to hear I should address any drawbacks, the only one thing I can think of which was not a problem at the time but since the gig, on watching the TV shows, I realise the it might have been even better if some of the other characters from the TV show had been involved in some way even if just their voices or pre-recorded video clips were used. Murray saying " Band meeting, I've got you a gig in Manchester" for me, would have been even more perfect!
If you are in possession of tickets lucky you! I can highly recommend the show, if not we can only hope and pray that this little beauty is going to come out on DVD. I am slightly concerned that Flight of the Conchords themselves do not realise the demand for a live TV show or DVD but hopefully HBO or their management will. The guys have retained their delightful, victimless self-deprecating brand of comedy and although they are reported to have said there will not be a third TV series of Flight of the Conchords I do hope there is more in store for us from them. (Just to confirm that they have not let celebrity and cult status go to their heads they did at least an hour meet and greet after the show in the freezing UK weather, signing memorabilia, taking photos with the fans and showing a genuine interest in the people who had waited to meet them, true gents! )