So I took a trip to Manchester Apollo to see Flight Of The Conchords. It felt a bit strange to be heading to such a popular and 'big' gig for what is still (in my head at least) a fairly niche comedy act. But I suppose people just have better taste these days. Opening for them was Eugene Mirman, one of the many stand-up acts to have populated the cast of the Conchords' eponymous hit show. He was certainly subversively amusing enough to get me in the mood, and made interesting use of videos and simplistic props (particularly small print-outs from websites), for which I'm sure he was thankful that the stage was bookended by fairly large video screens. Not sure how much he'd keep my attention for a prolonged set, mind.
Said video screens were also a massive boon for the headliners, whose comedy depends so much on subtle inflection that it would really lose something if you couldn't see their expressions while either talking nonsense or performing songs. Most of the highlights of their albums/shows were on the setlist, mostly wheeled out with a slightly different live take – extended bits, altered lyrics, linked in to banter. It all helped to keep the show far away from a slightly cringeworthy Rocky Horror-style singalong, for which I will be eternally grateful. It was good to hear some excellent songs they didn't shove into the series, such as fan favourite for those-in-the-know "Jenny". The between song banter was also hilarious, and while those of us who have scoured YouTube for performance videos had probably heard the likes of the Bowie timetripping story before I'm sure it was great for those less obsessive fans. And hey, I still laughed as well. Songs I really wish they had played but didn't – "Boom", "Inner City Pressure", "Fashion Is Danger". Highlights – "I'm Not Crying", "Albi The Racist Dragon", "1353" and an extended r'n'b-style jam of "Sugalumps". If you haven't hopped on the bandwagon yet, you might just be too late. But do it anyway.