That1Guy @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18/12/2008)
In the lead up to this gig, there had been a silent buzz for insanely genius musician Mike Silverman, otherwise known as That1Guy. It may be the silly season but that buzz was surprisingly ever so present on Thursday night at the Corner Hotel. Matt Kelly and the Keepers stroll on stage to give a solid support set featuring their songs from their album, Off The Ground. Their tone of acoustic melody and paired back beats hit just the right note to warm up the punters for this one man band, That1Guy. During the intermission set up, I have never seen the Corner fill up so quickly on a Thursday night; evidence of the eccentric pulling power of That1Guy.
Adding to the mystery at half past ten, the magic pipe appears. This futuristic bass-replica instrument is a series of connected pipes man-made by the musician himself. That1Guy is a classically trained upright bassist, a one man rhythm section that casually walks on stage to introduce oneself with a soft sweet impromptu jazz melody and then proceeded to rock the shit out of the crowd by playing a banging bass line. To put it bluntly, I’ve never seen a musical novelty so avant-garde or crazy, live on stage for a long time. The magic pipe is a system of electronically wired steel pipes with a bass string that can change shape to replicate anything from techno jazz to indigenous tribal beats. To top it off it also billows smoke from the top during peak melodies. It’s definitely giving Rolf Harris, the innovator of the Wobble Board, a run for his money. That1Guy grooves the crowd with novelty songs simply titled, Oranges, Butt Machine, Mash, Mustache and It’s Raining Meat. Something that makes the crowd ponder, before one song about the moon, Silverman waxes lyrically about his fascination with the moon and his dreams of the moon being cheese. The lyrics are a social commentary on everything but the important thing is you don’t have to understand them because the musicality behind them is so raw that you either stare in awe or jump around to the crazy beats.
Throughout the evening, Silverman interacts with and captures the awe of the audience; he creates an eccentric almost psychedelic trip via the addition of the magic boot, small snare drum and his lyrics combining references to fruit, the moon, cheese and butts. In the midst of this futuristic funk jam he occasionally lifts one of the two hats from his head like a mad hatter and during his solo bass line wear an expression that can only be identified as, – “bass face’. The lunatic yet happy energy during his set is contagious and the more energetic front row punters sing along and jump pogo style as Silverman delivers the songs with witty banter in-between.
To appease the crowd and close That1Guy sings the title track from his recent album, *The Moon Is Disgusting It’s Made Of Cheese. That1Guy comments, “You guys were a really special audience and I have a special treat or you Aussies”. He launches in a funky jam and sings, “All the pretty ladies around the world, got a weird thing to show you...”
A surprise impromptu encore has That1Guy performing a cover version of Cameo’s Word Up and incorporating a free flow rap about the audience and the Corner hotel. That1Guy does love Australia and will hopefully be back soon. If you like crazy times then it time you Word Up on That1Guy.