Tripod has over the past fifteen years become Australian comedy legends. Known for their quick wit and ability to work with a myriad of people in whatever scenario, teaming up with Eddie Perfect the group is just one of the acts on the first announcement for Queenscliff Music Festival 2014. With such a stellar career and many different pursuits undertaken in their time as a comedy act, it’s hard to pinpoint where to start the interview with Gatesy.
To my surprise, Gatesy had done some research on me, so straight off the bat we found some common ground in being musicians. “I used to be a bluesman like you mate. When I started playing guitar, it was the ’80s. Late ’80s music, I don’t know whether you know, but it really sucked. I was the guitarist in the school and with a long mullet and falling short of wearing a hat like Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was pretty sad. God I love my blues though, there is so much passion and energy poured in the songs. It’s great.”
Meeting doing musical theatre in the suburbs in the late ’90s, things fell into place quickly for Tripod, who did what young people don’t do anymore. “We used to get gigs and sing anywhere. The intention was really never to do comedy. We landed the gig on the triple j morning segment and started doing the ‘Song in an Hour’ which forced us to think of our feet. One in every three songs was great though. That was a great time in our lives – farmers would stop their tractors just to hear the song we would come up with. We did it long enough though. We had to be in to the station at 7 a.m. It was the early start that wrecked our week.”
Perfect Tripod has been doing shows together for the past six months. The origins of the new outfit came from performing cabaret shows at the Spiegeltent where at some point it was suggested that the group try singing the Paul Kelly classic ‘Meet Me in the Middle of the Air’, to which Kelly remarked it was a “stunning” cover version. From there, the Australian Songs show was born, which is what punters will get to see at the end of November. “Originally we were hesitant to do a 75 minute a cappella show. We grew up in an environment of a cappella and it was always regarded as something that was really daggy. We tried playing instruments, and Eddie is a great piano player, but we are too old and weary to be touring with instruments these days.”
Returning to play at Queenscliff, Gatesy can’t wait to take to the stage once again with this new show. Having written and performed a stage musical with Megan Washington and Elena Stone called ‘Tripod vs. The Dragon’, I am told by Gatesy that their wardrobe selection could be picked from local op shops. “In that production we dressed as mythical woodland creatures. I was a dog, Yon was a cat and Scott was a donkey. It might be a bit of fun to raid some op shops and bring something crazy to the stage.
“We can’t wait to return to Queenscliff. It has a great community vibe to it. See you there!”
When&Where: Queenscliff Music Festival – November 27 to 30
Written by Tex Miller