For 80’s country kids with no internet and two TV channels the most risque thing you would experience was a sneaky double entendre on Hey Hey it’s Saturday. Finding a Kevin Bloody Wilson cassette and sharing it with your mates was a magical introduction to the grown-up world of comedy, those simple songs packed with fart jokes and swear words became a gateway to comedy for a generation.
Fast forward to a country town hall in 2019 does this brand of comedy still resonate? Of course it does. Comedy and the PC landscape in general changed in 30 years but this is Kevin Bloody Wilson heartland. The kids and their fathers who played those cassettes until they fell apart, in the ’80s remember every word, every joke, and banter in between songs and know when to join in without prompting. Specifically marketed deliberately and proudly politically incorrect the show delivers, today’s conservatives simply would not know where to start being offended. Racism, sexism, homophobia, choose your poison there is a song or joke about it.
The set unfolds as an autobiographical tale of Kevin’s life working in the outback then as an entertainer travelling the world, yarns celebrating characters encountered and friendships formed weaved around the songs they inspired. Classics from the 1984 4 x platinum selling Aria award winning Kev’s Back (The Return of the Yobbo) featured heavily with crowd favourites “Mick the Master Farter”, “It Was Over”, “Hey Santa Claus” with the classic parody “Living Next Door To Alan” taking pride of place after an explaining the meaning of some of the more obscure aboriginal language references in the lyrics.
More recent material “Nigel” who’s call and response chorus popped up throughout the night, and “Absolute C**t of a Day” about attempts by the Canadians to censor his live performances there were received with the same tinnie fuelled gusto as the older material, proving the fan base has kept up with Kev’s career.
Taken as it is intended, as a nostalgic trip back in time where this style of uniquely Australian comedy, where everything was fair game and ripe for mockery ruled the RSL’s and country pubs across the country the show was a success. No apologies were given or expected and the punters would have it no other way.
When: Wednesday May 15
Where: Ararat Town Hall
Reviewed by Jason Meehan
Photo sourced from socials