JAKE ALDEN-FALCONER likes his cheese all mixed together – like a musical fondue. Truly Medley Deeply provide.
ADC Theatre, Tuesday 25th January, 11pm, £7
A yellow morph suit wanders onto the ADC stage and fiddles with some plugs. He is followed by an incredible hulk carrying a synth, bongoes and a violin and a red morph with a guitar in his hand and underwear on his front.
Occasional laughs at the sheer ridiculousness of the bathetically bumbling superheroes are spreading already. They begin to play, but the synth doesn’t work. A long and silent investigation following the cable leads to the startling revelation that it isn’t plugged in. Amid our amusement, the trio shrug, laugh and start their melodramatic classical guitar rendition of Hit Me Baby One More Time.
On stage Truly Medley Deeply have the confidence of a group who’ve done successful student shows before: they’re cheesy, self-deprecating and very silly – but highly entertaining. They contrast with the supporting Staircase Band, a group of seven exotically dressed musicians who play beautiful, lively music better-suited to a bohemian bar in fin de siècle Paris. Truly Medley Deeply bask in their own cringe-worthiness, and refreshingly there is no pretension of being arty, cool or even that musical.
They are bursting with energy; full of amusing lines and witty quips. Their singing isn’t outstanding, no doubt not helped by playing three instruments at once or occasionally singing well out of their vocal range, but remarkably every mistake and imperfection (greeted with laughter or mock derision from the other members) makes an exceptional show even better.
The basic premise of the performance is to exploit the formulaic chord sequences and derivative nature of current popular songs and mix them together like an acoustic DJ set: Hit Me Baby blends seamlessly into Survivor as the chorus of Love Don’t Cost a Thing slides up on the left hand side of the room.
The ‘requests medley’ takes song suggestions from the keen audience, and it’s intriguing to see how they pull it off. It’s not quite as bold a musical endeavour as I had hoped. They miss out, understandably, audience requests for The Prodigy’s Firestarter and La Roux’s Bulletproof – and although a little clumsy, it’s a feat of audience participation which has everyone beaming and clapping along.
TMD aren’t a comedy act, and they’re not quite a band either; but what they do manage is to create the same friendly and childish atmosphere you’d imagine at a best friend’s house, hyper from sugary sweets and chart pop songs. Without a doubt the audience loved it and I left with a smile, feeling refreshed and humming my personal favourite of the evening: an asthmatic rendition of Take My Breath Away.