As far as comedy acts go, an all-male a cappella group singing stand-up is pretty niche. But somehow, these five talented Sydney blokes managed to pull off a Dumb Song Night, leaving the audience in stitches with their cute but dark humour.
If anyone was in doubt about what the night would entail, Songtourage quickly cleared it up in their opening song, ‘Turn Off Your Phones’. The sweet ditty introduced the group in barbershop style, with each member taking turns at lead and the backing “doo-ahs”.
The nostalgia of childhood and adolescence played a big role in the show, and this was cleverly tied into modern themes, and the perspective of being an adult. For instance, ‘Landline Bling’ was a hilarious spoof of Drake’s hit ‘Hotline Bling’, reimagined from the perspective of a teenager in a time when landlines were king. Meanwhile, ‘Six Fish’ called back to the cruel but also ridiculous games of the primary school playground, which were once law.
Songtourage’s interaction with the audience was very imaginative and one of the highlights of the show, with the group creating “would you rather?” songs on the fly that were so dumb they were almost brilliant.
Though they are all competent singers, the boys lost their pitch at times – but the technique wasn’t at all the focus of the show compared to the jokes. The true strength of this act was that everyone in the group brought their own personality and charm to the performance. Songs like ‘Confident By Email’ and ‘Ibis Song’ did what comedy does best: taking the mundane and making it noteworthy.
Songtourage made a genre usually performed by Ivy League college students and male retirees uniquely their own, but more importantly, they brought a fun flavour to it – and that’s something worth singing about.
Songtourage were reviewed at the Factory Theatre on Saturday May 20 as part of Sydney Comedy Festival 2017.