Like most, before I witnessed the Rundle Mall Street Preachers first-hand, I had assumed they were made of a mixture of recycled steel and medical tape. Upon viewing these wily loud-smiths in person, I realised not only that I was wrong, but that I had been standing heavily on a lady’s foot for some time, and she had been asking insistently for me to move.
I took a few steps away from the insane woman, and watched as the preachers finished setting up their standing-crates and shout-amplifiers. As this took place, I noticed tension in the vicinity grow. ‘Is this part of their schtick? The ole’ tension release gag?’ I thought to myself. It would be a risqué move. Almost as risqué as using pseudo French words you aren’t quite sure of the meaning of. Once the head, alpha, or ‘Mufasa’ preacher climbed atop his crate and began to speak, however, it dawned on me that THIS was the opening monologue I had been waiting for.
His angle was interesting. It takes a great deal of confidence and charisma to begin your set with a Jesus gag. His delivery was confident, his stage presence undeniable. The first joke went down without much of a response, yet this confident up-and-comer continued undeterred, with the grace and fluidity of a teardrop cascading gently from the eyelash of a pregnant doe.
As I watched on with a mixture of awe, trepidation and flatulence, I noticed the few other audience members becoming restless. I assumed they had all remembered an engagement party they were supposed to attend today, and immediately hated them for having superior social commitments. It became apparent, however, that their unrest stemmed not from the prospect of a neglected shindig, but from the show itself.
A well-dressed, outlandishly-haired boy, standing closest to the front of the crowd delivered the first heckle. If memory serves, his exact words were ‘F*#K YOU.’ An odd insult, considering the content of the act’s material. The heckle was responded to in a typical comedian-esque manner: the threat of eternal damnation. This audience-participation had really brought some of the crowd out of their shell. Too far out, some might say, when witnessing the police-restraint required by the end of the act.
The first laugh of the night came about two hours in to the set, when the preachers utilised the power of a well-timed exclamation of ‘buggery’. All in all, they had enough confidence and volume to keep me interested, even if they did go a little over three hours over their tight five.
Check them out, If you get the chance. Or don’t. I’m not your nanny. Take control of your life, damn it.
************************ 24 stars
(By Demi Lardner)