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Review; Flight of the Conchords ECHO arena.

Byline: JOE THOMAS ECHO Reporter @joe_thomas18

THE roar that greeted the conclusion of the first song said it all. The joy and relief was clear among the thousands of folk-parody fans who had made their way to the ECHO arena to watch Flight of the Conchords.

The joy came from finally seeing Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie back on stage after several years away from the UK - a wait increased by Bret's broken hand leading to the tour being rescheduled.

And the relief as everyone realised they were still funny. Older, greyer - like many of the fans who picked up on the Kiwi duo's antics in the mid 2000s - but no less funny.

The wait for tonight was long. The tickets weren't cheap. But the Conchords were still the Conchords in all their awkward, deadpan, foolish glory.

Opening song Father and Son. A dad and lad song that had you wanting to both laugh and cry as the pair run through the relationship between a dad and his son after the parents have split up. One of several new songs, it had you just about contemplating the sadness of the scenario before being tugged back to chuckling fits as the son - who turns out to be 33-- quite happily takes the positives out of having a cooler man cuddling up to his mum.

Support act Eugene Mirman, who plays landlord Eugene in the Flight of the Conchords TV series and who voices Gene on US sitcom Bob's Burgers, was given an impressive cheer following his 20-minute opening act.

His deadpan stand-up was well received by an audience that, after having waited so long to see the Conchords, was quickly won over when they may initially have bemoaned another wait for the stars.

One of the Conchord's best moments came with the song 1353 (Woo A Lady), which had everybody laughing before the recorder-solo even kicked off this Medieval track. Accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (the whole one-man crew), the house was roaring by the time the three-way recorder collaboration ended to the backdrop of an audience thunderclap.

Even the Conchords acknowledged the show was unlikely to return to the bizarrely dizzying heights of those madcap few minutes (and the next song was a jazz-themed anecdote about stolen spoons).

Did they mention Liverpool? Forgetting Liverpool from the city list at the end of Inner City Pressure (which was on purpose) was one of the funnier moments but the working of Liverpool into classic The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room was a highlight.

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room just trumped 1353 for me. "Beautiful... like the name Liverpool... like the general attractions in the area" was far funnier at the time than I could ever do justice in words.

The set ended with a classic - not the comeback of the Hiphopopotamus but the welcome return of the binary solo in Robots.

New Zealand's self-proclaimed fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo are niche. But they can still sell thousands of tickets on the other side of the world from their homes.

This felt like a tremendous flashback to discovering this brilliant pair through online clips a decade or so ago and earned the pair a standing ovation - which I've never seen at the arena before.

Only the lack of the Hiphopopotamus and the wait for their arrival on stage stops this from earning top, top marks.



Flight of the Conchords earned a standing ovation
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2018
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