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March 10, 2008 | by  | in Music |
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Dash Ambrose: B-Sides and Rarites

Dash Ambrose played to an audience of seven the evening I saw them. Those people had a really good time. The band is a musical parody duo; imagine Flight of the Conchords with only one guitarist, the other member being an American non-singer who can’t play the bongo too well. Well, it’s better than it sounds.

With the huge international popularity of their HBO series it is safe to say you’ll never get to see the Conchords play to an audience this tiny except fictionally in the episodes (a hundred people in aro video? Smelly). With that in mind it was actually a sort of privilege to see a struggling comedy music act in its natural habitat, i.e. Blue Note at 5:30 (due to the closure of their original venue). The band takes an extremely self deprecating view of their material, “we just played our one good song. That was it.” This fitted well with the small audience and made what could have been a real cringe-fest into a funny show which was actually enlivened by the band’s awareness of the absurdity of the situation. And the odds of getting personally serenaded were very high, “Rachael? Exotic name!”

The jokes were hit and miss, but all the misses were apologised for on the spot. A song about awkward silences was probably the high point, together with the “drummer’s commentary” which immediately followed. This means it was the same song but overdubbed live by the drummer, “yeah, that’s me… playing the drums… while he’s singing… just drumming and singing,” which was clever a take on those DVD commentaries which say nothing useful, except point out what’s happening on screen, as in, “so there’s Frodo… still having issues with the ring… looking pretty pained right there… actually those rocks in the background are polystyrene…”

Dash Ambrose had a rough edged silliness which made me want to see them again. Next time with an audience in the double digits, I hope. Reviewed by Ralph Upton

Dash Ambrose: B-Sides and Rarities
At Bluenote Bar
Feb 26- March 2
Reviewed 29 Feb

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