Barry Morgan’s World Of Organs @ Umbrella Revolution, Adelaide Fringe (26/2/12)
When I first glimpsed Barry Morgan two years ago I knew we were going to get along famously. The man with toothiest smile since the Osmonds, the cheesiest safari suit since my Grandad and the quickest keyboard fingers since Barry Hall (obscure 1970s Hammond player reference).
Since he turned up on Spicks and Specks a couple of times, his audience has grown by leaps and bounds and we now find Barry’s demonstration of the Hammond Aura Classic organ in the huge Umbrella Revolution pavilion in the Garden of Unearthly Delights. There are a lot of interested shoppers here today, to learn the finer points of this beautiful, state of the art instrument, and for a few lucky punters a personal lesson from Barry himself in his famous “one finger method”.
Morgan is a fantastic comic creation of course, the fantastic 1972 hair cut and moustache, the biggest smile in showbiz and he bangs out every conceivable double entendre about ‘organs’ you could imagine. It should also be said that Barry is actually an incredible musician. That he is being an incredible musician on one of the most kitsch of all instruments isn’t a deal breaker, it does in fact make it that much more fantastic. There is sometimes a thin line between a parody of a guy playing cheesy Hammond organ and a guy just playing cheesy Hammond organ. Morgan stays just inside that line and when he drops Turning Japanese in his Barry Around The World section, it is comedy genius.
When it comes time to see who will take advantage of his sales pitch, there is a truly uncomfortable section while Barry waits for the phone to ring. It’s a great bit of theatre. But Barry can’t stay sad for long. I wonder if the future will see him playing much more contemporary tunes on his cherished Aura Classic. I could see Barry killing Single Ladies or Party Rock Anthem this time next year. At the end of the show Barry heads outside to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for photos with his fans. I love this guy!