So, Al’s Music Rant: The Difficult 2nd Album
is in full swing. In fact it’s nearly come to the end of its run, or to continue the metaphor, is gaining enough momentum on the playground to daringly leap off into the tambark.
Bad metaphors aside, it’s not all fun and LOLs. The show is beginning to take its toll. With an hour-long set of musical-based hilarity that contains shouting, singing, rapping, ranting and at least three separate James Hetfield impersonations, my vocals are taking a bit of a pounding. This recent shopping list should give you a nice portrait of my condition:
• 4x whole lemons
• 1x tube of honey
• Pack of 100 Irish Breakfast teabags
• 2x bottles of water
• 1x jug of chocolate-chip pancake mix (unrelated)
A real recipe for recovery, non? Also, just look at my fingers:
My supple digits, ruined! I used to have hands fit for cherubs I tell you. But look, the show really is happening right now and I thought I’d take the ‘behind the scenes’ thing literally by filming backstage during a short break in the show:
Not as riveting as I’d hoped... but with only four performances left before I put away the props, the cardboard-based music quotes, and crummy Powerpoints (but not the guitar) until the next ‘Rant’. There’s still a chance to come experience what critics are calling “the show that’s on before Best Newcomer hot tip Ronny Chieng.” What’s that? A booking link: Sure, here you go
Speaking of critics, a big part of every Comedy Festival season is the dreaded 'media night'. Basically it's a specific performance designed to stress out the performer. On the night, it causes anxiety through hoping that the reviewers actually turn up, but also your mates that you promised free tix to to fill up the seats - because as science denotes, large audience = better show. Then afterwards comes more stressing - did the reviewers like the show? Did they 'get' it? Even if they did, will they find time to bother to publish it? Hey, I'm a freelance music journalist remember, I know what it's like reviewing a show, but that doesn’t stop me sitting at the computer, like every other comedian, frantically Googling my own show name or hitting refresh on The Age
website desperately waiting to see if something positive has come through.
Turns out, having my fingers crossed (and toes and arms and eyelashes) paid off. Firstly, Melbourne Uni paper Farrago
wrote these nice words, "his persona allays fears that this will be a whiny hipster complaining for an hour" before tidily surmising "Newstead succeeds at not failing" - WIN. Then Beat Magazine
got in on the act calling yours truly "a walking, talking, opinionated jukebox with music knowledge that will blow you away. Equally confident doing jokes, impersonations, musical lessons on slideshow, dancing or performing very amusing covers." DOUBLE WIN (Turns out it was written by one of the excellent specimens over at Bon Vivant
). Then Herald Sun
gave the show a "★★★★" review calling it "an hilarious hit-packed parade of musical wit and wisdom". Wow, well slap me 'round and call me Riha... no, that won't fly. Well, shoot me down and call me John Len.. Oh dear, that's awful. Let's just say I was pretty chuffed and move on, shall we?
Now before you crack wise to all this ridiculous narcissism, all the pointing of "lookie, people like it and without having to bribe them", remember we're dealing with a musical comedian here - the ultimate attention-seeking combination of spectacle-hungry comic mooshed with the vanity of a full-guitar-solo-wankery rock star
So my point ladies and gentleman, is that it's been a really wonderful season and fingers crossed (and legs and elbows and eyes), a wonderful finish also. It is, of course, all for nothing without you, the audience. So if you came and saw The Difficult 2nd Album
, bless you, you wonderful human. I love you as much as Radiohead's OK Computer
(that's heaps). If you're going to – I'm as excited as I am about getting Prince tickets. If you haven't yet booked, or you're not planning to... well, why are you reading this you dingus.
To go into the draw to win a double pass to Al's show for this Saturday 21 April, just email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org