Tom Thum "Beating the Habit"

Garden of Unearthly Delights. 21 February 2012

This show is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Fringe!  The diverse opening night audience of ‘Beating the Habit’ performed by Tom Thum (of the Tom Tom Crew) comprised the very young to the young at heart and those on the wrong side of fifty, all however were astounded by the sonic antics of this quite remarkable young artist. 

To say that he is a beat boxer – a vocal percussionist – is simply inadequate.  Not only does he imitate the sounds of nearly every percussion instrument you can think of, he also creates with unnerving and eerie believability the sounds of wind, string and brass instruments, as well as the sounds of living nature and the inanimate world. 

Into the mix Thum records his own singing voice from contralto to countertenor.  With the aid of three Kaoss Pads he electronically samples and processes his own vocal effects as he creates them on the spot and builds and combines them into an incredibly rich aural palette. 

Thum uses the sound effects to tell and embellish a range of stories, which included a five minute version of the creation of the world from the ‘big bang’ to the emergence of prehistoric life, and a take-off of the ‘Rise of the Machines’ from ‘Terminator 3’ (or Tominator 3 as he would have it!). 
The show is full of good-fun humour as well, and an on-screen tongue-in-cheek doco about him trying to kick the beatbox habit amply demonstrates his quick wit and intelligent and incisive humour. 

My taste is usually for serious ‘concert’ music and I wouldn’t know a hip-hopper or a rapper if I fell over one, but this show is not to be missed.  Thom Thum is remarkable.  A joyous experience.

Kym Clayton

When: 23 Feb to 14 Mar. Various Dates
Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights. The Deluxe