Tripod: The Musical Comedy Trio and their Songbook

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Tripod: The Musical Comedy Trio and their Songbook

For 20 years now, Tripod has been one of Australia’s most iconic comedy acts providing laughs by their unique blend of musical comedy. Now to celebrate the monumental anniversary, the trio have released a songbook, 101 Tripod Hits. When Forté asked why the band chose to release a songbook, member Steven Gates summed it up quite simply.

“Recorded music is dead mate, even vinyl is gone and this was the most hipster thing we could come up with – sheet music,” Gates says.

“But seriously, when we grew up learning our instruments, personally speaking, they were the books that really taught me how to play the songs that I was into. There was one in particular called 101 Hit Songs for Buskers and I liked it because it had simple melodies with all the lyrics as well. It was a way to celebrate our 20 years in a fun way. We went through about 380 songs that we could remember and we all voted on which ones should make the book. So when we say ‘hit songs’, we more so mean our favourite songs.”

However, the band (comprised of Steven Gates, Scott Edgar and Simon Hall) have done much more than write comedic anthems for the past two decades. They have also comprised songs for cartoons, worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on their show ‘This Gaming Life’ as well as written songs for the Assassins Creed game ‘Syndicate’.

Songs from the band’s past musical explorations are also featured in the songbook, which helps to provide the set list for each show, drawing out selections from a big barrel comprised of 101 balls at each live show.

“We would hate to just play 15 crowd favourites. That’s really something that would drive us crazy and force us to breakup. This way it’s exciting. We are in the trenches together at battle with our repertoire trying to remember the songs. Usually good, fresh material comes out of it by doing it that way because we are forced to improvise at times,” Gates says.

“It’s interesting I think, that everyone in the comedy industry has suggested we rig it. But that’s the whole idea: to commit to the songs that come up. It’s an exercise in backing ourselves. People are there to see a live show; they want the danger and fun of it.”

While the band are all going their separate ways for a few months after the upcoming regional tour, Gates promises they aren’t calling it quits just yet.

“If we ever break up or split up, and we have talked about this, the last thing we want to do is a breakup tour. For the John Farnham’s or whoever who do farewell tours and then turn up again a year and a half later – it’s just fucking fraudulent and shit, and I can’t stand that. I would much prefer to fade away and come back every four to five years to do a big show and say ‘Hey! Yeah, we are still doing stuff’.”

Written by Alex Callan

When & Where: Capital Theatre, Bendigo – November 19.