Flight Of The Conchords: High On Folk
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003
New Zealand's bad boys of folk are back, and this time they are high. High on folk.
In the world of quickfire comedy, Flight Of The Conchords have a different approach - a slowly smouldering feel that seduces audiences into their twilight world of folk parody.
This Kiwi duo were the underground hit of last year's Fringe, and their failure to make Perrier's best newcomer shortlist was little short of an outrage. But now they're back with an array of new songs, an army of new fans - but the same gloriously low-key banter.
They take a broad approach to what constitutes folk, evoking not only old skool classics like Durham Town, but soul and hip-hop, too, with the splendid, and touchingly naïve, rap Hip-Hopapotomus vs Rhymenoceros a genuine classic.
The songs are delightful, and the lads have fantastic voices, but the real joy is in their deadpan banter, or "clever talking", which quietly mocks every aspect of music and their own obsessions by treating everything with unyielding gravitas. Some of this is immensely subtle, yet nobody misses a single joke - and why would they, the entire audience is always captivated by the Conchords' magic.
There's only one track that doesn't really come off - a Western number about evil gunslinger Stana, but even this contains a fantastic aside as they deconstruct the cliché "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" to the nth degree. A typically inventive touch from two sublime comic minds.
Flight Of The Conchords are a genuinely different, refreshing act with a truly beautiful line in comedy. They deserve every ounce of their cult success.