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Tim Minchin

  1. Feb 26, 2010 #1


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    Tonight I finally cashed in my Christmas present -- a ticket to Tim Minchin's show, in Newcastle, Australia. It was the best night out I've had for ages; excellent fun.

    Tim Minchin is a comedian/songwriter/musician/nerd. He is Australian, currently based in the UK. He also has an enormous talent. Seriously. He is amazing. He writes his own lyrics, plays piano like magic, and has a show which keeps the audience totally engaged from start to finish; no backing band, no support act, all and only Tim Minchin.

    The show we saw was "Ready for This?"; and features a number of classics and others I hadn't heard before.

    There's "Storm", the famous 9 minute beat poem about skepticism meeting up with New Age Woo at a dinner party.

    There's "If I didn't have you"... a love song for his wife. Maybe. The punch line is "if I didn't have you, I'd probably have somebody else". It's actually a song poking fun at the idea of "fate", or of a soul mate that is your destined life partner from before you even met.

    There's a "canvas bags". The repeating line is "take your canvas bags to the supermarket". The message is serious, sort of, but he goes so over the top that it becomes a self-parody of the earnestness with which we approach different issues.

    In the same way, he had a song starting out with a profound verse looking at feminism and acknowledging the issues women face and the role men play in their problems; and the segues into a light little chorus of: "but.... I really like boobies".

    He's also a somewhat outspoken atheist, and pokes a lot of fun at the bible and religion generally in some songs. He had the whole theater singing along with "I love Jesus" -- and if you know Tim you just know there's something coming... the next verse was "I hate faggots". But as the song came to and end, he decided that he'd leave all that for the churches. Ouch.

    He also pokes fun at himself, all the time. His on-stage persona is a kind of rock star wanna-be, with wild emo hair and dark eyeliner, barefoot, but periodically showing a vulnerable side of needing to be liked and doubting himself. He's become something of a poster child now for modern skeptics and new atheists; and it works for me.

    But on top of that, I could go to a concert where he just played the piano for me. He's not a classical pianist (I bet he could do classical well) but more a jazz/ragtime virtuoso, able to ad lib at will and making full use of every inch of the keyboard on his trademark grand, that always shares the stage with him.

    In trying to think of a comparable performer, he has quite a lot in common with Tom Leher, I think. The same outrageous comedy, bright piano, poking fun, but also with a thread of social themes, and the nerdy science lover element as well. Tim is a bit more wide ranging and his rock star wanna-be stage persona is a rather more frenetic, but if you like Tom Leher, check out Tim Minchin for sure!

    It was lots of fun. Not for everyone, I suspect. (The couple sitting next to my party did not return after the intermission...) But I loved it, and if anyone here doesn't mind a lack of respect being shown for religion in particular, then I recommend it highly. He's toured in the US before.

    Cheers -- sylas

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  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2010 #2
    If he ever makes it to my little corner of Canada, I'll be there for sure.
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