The Flight of the Concords

Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, 15th July, 2012

They are masters of self-deprecating banter, and their witty ditties are filled with wry observations about the minutiae of everyday life, but I can’t help feeling that Brett and Jermaine, The Fight of the Concords, the fourth best Folk duo from New Zealand, have lost their mojo. Sure, they’re capable of filling cavernous stadiums with scores of sycophantic fans, and their tales of rock ‘n’ roll excess never fail to impress, but I just don’t buy their shtick anymore.

Hit albums, a successful HBO comedy series, and an impressive list of movie credits have elevated this slightly nerdy Kiwi duo to A-list celebrity status. I suspect that Jermaine is getting more business time than most, and Brett is probably cavorting with the most beautiful women on the planet (as opposed to the most attractive female in the room). These hicks from the sticks of Wellington, New Zealand, are now bona fide global superstars who must be consuming more than the occasional illicit muffin as they tour the world. They can’t be as nice as their stage personas, can they? Of course, trying to ascertain whether the Concords roles actually coincide with their ‘real’ personalities is beside the point. They deserve all the accolades and spoils that come with being talented celebrities, and they did put on a good show. The sound was crisp, the banter rarely lagged, and the songs remain funny, yet I walked away slightly underwhelmed.

I’ll concede that Brett and Jermaine ooze charm, and still have the chops to parody a dizzying array of musical styles, but their material, good as it is, is now getting a little stale. The boys have lost their edge, and are now merely peddling a greatest hits show, which the fans appear to be lapping up. But where are the new ideas, boys? I think Murray needs to call a band meeting, ASAP.

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