At this point in time, most will be aware of the hapless duo Jemaine and Bret, two shepherds-turned-musicians who go under the banner Flight Of The Conchords. These guys had found their way from the mean pastures of New Zealand, to the even meaner streets of New York in an attempt to seek fame and fortune, playing their music to a willing audience – although with band manager Murray Hewitt working tirelessly to make their aim reality, this was never going to be straightforward. Ok, who am I kidding? This was fiction of course, comedy fiction, although the music composed was really quite good, in a naff kinda way.
Live In London is a recording of the last night of 2 shows they performed at the Hammersmith Apollo in March last year, and although recorded in such a vast space, has been brought intimately into your listening environment by the comic abilities of Jemaine Clement and Brett McKenzie, ably assisted by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. This truly hilarious recording features some of their most popular numbers – ‘Inner City Pressure‘ – in which they play a parody of The Pet Shop Boys, ‘Foux du Fafa‘ – in which I can hear shades of another comedy duo, Raw Sex, although this could just be the beat box they are utilising. Rounding off the album with the classic ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World‘ (how could they not?), they also add to the standard fodder with 7 new songs.
The first on the collection is ‘Father and Son‘, no not the Cat Stevens number, this a story of single parent-hood, told only how Jemaine & Brett could, with the former playing the 33-year-old victim of parental breakdown! Next new fodder is ‘Iain and Deanna‘, where workplace sexual chemistry is played upon, to a very messy end. Hearing these numbers, the first new fare since 2009’s I Told You I Was Freaky and their 2008 debut, Distant Future, shows just how the pair have not lost what brought them to HBO in 2007, when their antipodean niceness was nothing but truly wonderful.
Live albums can sometimes be hit or miss, but with this almost spoken-word affair, it’s not difficult to believe this is going to be a steadfast hit. I’ve learnt more about this mismatched pairing than I knew at first and would challenge any listener to not truly belly laugh as you proceed through what must’ve been a very funny evening.
Live In London is out now on Sub Pop.