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Tom Tom Crew

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Something of a cross between Stomp and La Clique, the Tom Tom Crew are a merry Australian band of acrobats and musicians who have pitched up in the cavernous bowels of the Udderbelly on the South Bank, presenting an hour of high-octane (if not always highly organised) physical and musical trickery.

Compered by drummer Ben Walsh and featuring beatboxer Tom Thum, DJ Sampology as well as four tanned and toned tumblers, this magnificent seven are a disparate band held together by bucket-loads of enthusiasm and antipodean charm.

The show is a 60-minute romp showcasing energetic displays of acrobatics - a bit like watching a much cooler version of the Olympic gymnastics events - punctuated by Tom Thumb's impressive beatboxing, Sampology's superlative scratching and Walsh's left-field musical interludes (for my money his Hip Hop utilisation of a 1981 Suzuki Omnichord is the unlikely show-stealer).

Compared to last week's offering at the Udderbelly, the splendid evening of comedy variety The Crack, there's a lack of anarchy and edge to the Tom Tom Crew that's rather anticlimactic. For all the impressive posturing, they're not really presenting anything new and despite some strong routines (the see-saw section is edge-of-the-seat stuff) this is essentially straightforward circus with a street soundtrack.

It's undoubtedly great fun and the enthusiasm of the guys is hard to resist. But, like gorging on canapes, however good the individual segments are, as a whole they leave one feeling rather unsatisfied, never really building to a big enough crescendo and lacking a slight sense of direction. Suffice to say, I left the Udderbelly hungry for more.


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