Irish Musical Comedy Awards | 4 Dame Lane
Review by: Robin Murray
On Wednesday, 25th of April in Dublin's 4 Dame Lane, the Irish Musical Comedy Awards were held for the first time ever. However, the format of the show was really more like a battle of the bands than an award show, with celebrity judges Radio Nova's Marty Miller, journalist and star of Oxegen 2011 Amanda Brunker and Camembert Quartet's Paddy Cullivan judging twelve Irish musical comedy acts, all competing for the top prize of €500 plus spots performing at the Kerry Comedy Festival as well as the 2013 British Musical Comedy Awards and the second prize of a free recording session.
Organised by Sharyn Hayden (aka Shazwanda) and hosted by Fred Cooke (of Republic of Telly and Spar fame), the show had extra star power and an added draw in the form of guest performers The Rubberbandits.
It was a mixed bag of talent on the night with experience levels seeming to vary greatly from act to act. The six that stood out for me were Floosy and Bluesy, Nostril Shorts, Totally Wired, The Guilty Folk, The InQuizition and Ursula Burns. All six acts, though very different, had confidence on stage and the all-important feel-good factor. Some acts suffered slightly for being too similar to another; Steve Bennett, Marcus O'Laoire and Trevor Browne all had good sets, but their nice-guy-with-a-guitar routines blended together.
Others missed the mark, such as Brendogg and Bolsak (of Republic of Telly fame) who had the unenviable task of performing first. A combination of nerves and bad sound let them down on the night, and similarly Johnny Graham and Really Tight Pants failed to hit the right note; the former sang a song about a Mossy Ferguson tractor that fell flat with the mostly urban audience and the latter dancing around and repeatedly singing 'tight pants', with jokes absent from their set.
There were a couple of definite lulls in the evening, however, while the night was far from perfect, that isn't to say there weren't some great moments with Totally Wired, The Guilty Folk and Ursula Burns all giving crowd-pleasing performances that were a winning combination of quirky and polished.
In the end it was Belfast harpist, Burns who took first prize - her musicality and humour were both on point, making her a deserving winner, though not an obvious one.
Second place went to Floozy and Bluesy who were the high point in a comparatively weak first half. Their songs 'I'll Stick With Dick' and 'You Saw Your Parents Having Sex' were simple and funny and their piano and vocal set stuck out in a night full of rapping and guitar strumming.
Considering that it was the first time the event was organised it's no surprise that there were a few glitches with this year's show, but nothing can take away from the fact that musical comedy is flourishing in Ireland right now and there's no signs of that stopping.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 30th April 2012 | Comedy
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