18 August 2007

Pavarotti of Parody

The Mitch Benn Music Club, Reid Concert Hall

Perhaps it was the late hour (2315 - nearer 2330 when the audience finally got seated) or perhaps it was the onset of Fringe fatigue after two and a half weeks of queueing and drinking lager from plastic cups, but this show just didn't grab me. There comes a point in every musical parodist's career when their humorous topical material starts to sound a little out of date and for Mitch Benn that time may be upon him. Trotting out the old favourites isn't really an option once the world has moved on and everything doesn't sound like Coldplay anymore.
Benn has great skill with words and music, demonstrated in a number of on-the-spot improvisations, and the Distractions (well, half of them) provide the usual solid support as genres and instruments are hopped from song to song. The less topical material raised the bar, with Mitch Benn's Musical Version Of The Very Hungry Caterpillar a particular highlight. There was also a hint of loftier ambitions in a particularly pointed song about the ongoing situation in Iraq that provided the only illustration that Benn has not lost his satirical bite.

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