Tinkerings Adeladie Fringe 2019Derek Tickner. Broadcast Bar. 21 Feb 2019


Ah, the Broadcast Bar, where the grudge is real. The steep stairs and the one lit light chandelier and the bar supported by ancient VHS movie covers. Yet inside a Beckettian version of somebody’s brain, one finds hospitality and escape, and the world premiere of Eric Tinker’s Tinkerings.


Tinkerings, you will learn, are songs with tinkered lyrics – either completely re-themed or satirical takes on the original. This Tinker is good at, and one finds comedy with music more immediately accessible than stand-up. Tinker takes melodies from the likes of Wilson Dixon, Tom Basden and Pulp. His own libretti, like Cow Meditation and Philosophy are actually brilliant, dripping with double entendres and fantasy. Tinker’s satires of Bowie and Jagger, while not polished, have humorous veracity.


Perched on a stool and strumming simply, Tinker has a fetching sonorous register delivering mid-country Pommie vowels. The lyrics are quirky and ironic, and extend to farcical conclusions using dollops of lateral thinking. There are references betraying an interest in history and science, somewhat in the Monty Python vein, like the song comparing the Tudors and the Vikings. At half time, Adelaidean Fergus O’Regan comes on for a funny song focusing on the phallus. Tinker returns in a ludicrous wig claiming to be Billy Ray Cyrus and after some chat exposing a wounded accent, launches into Achy Breaky Heart 2 – Zombie Apocalypse, another hit of the night.


There’s a naivety and honesty about Tinker – apologies for stiff fretting fingers, losing one’s place while reading the words, throwing sheets of music around, strumming to the lowest common denominator – it’s goofy but charming. All forgiven in a ten minute open mic set, but a one-hour one-man show commands a greater commitment to the gig.


David Grybowski

3 stars


When: 21 Feb to 7 Mar

Where: Broadcast Bar

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au

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