Live Review: Flight Of The Conchords - Sydney Opera House

6 July 2012 | 3:57 pm | Paul Smith

It wasn’t slick, it wasn’t stylish but it was a completely endearing performance – and that’s why we love them.

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For such a short distance to come it has taken New Zealand's Flight Of The Conchords a mighty long time to get to their first tour of Australia. Those that won the ticket frenzy were treated to a surprise and unadvertised support act in the form of Arj Barker, who plays mate Dave in their TV series, with his relaxed observational comedy hitting the spot perfectly. It was then something of a 'rock star' welcome for FOTC. They appeared from a dark stage in suitably rudimentary robot gear, kicking off with Too Many Dicks (On The Dance Floor).

Their perfectly weighted comedy songs were interspersed with long periods of banter, each equally delivered with just the right amount of polish removed. That delivery ensured that older and better-known songs still evoked a laugh even though the audience was well aware of what was coming. Business Time and The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room) were particularly well received with a sense of sheer delight from the audience, who also engaged in the most bizarre singalong in Song For Epileptic Dogs. 

Utilising the 'stripped-back New Zealand Symphony Orchestra' (a lone cellist!) on stage for most of their set, also demonstrated their own musicianship across a weird and wonderful selection of instruments. Jenny also particularly highlighted their intriguing knack of songwriting with its roundabout structure delivered, perfect timing and lyrical dexterity providing laughs rather than slap-in-the-face humour. They were at their best during the homage moments though with Inner City Pressure sounding more like the Pet Shop Boys than the band itself and their hilarious parody of Bowie. The slowest and most gentle trashing of a stage followed the total rock-out (complete with low-plunging tops) of Demon Woman to close the set. Back for the encore, they finished with a completely overplayed Sugalumps with more posturing than you would ever have thought possible. It wasn't slick, it wasn't stylish but it was a completely endearing performance – and that's why we love them.