The Doug Anthony All Stars (DAAS) Live on Stage!

Avalon Promotions Ltd

Pleasance Courtyard

From 03 August 2016 to 14 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

It's a necessary caveat to the potential enjoyment of DAAS that audience members should leave all semblance of good taste at the door, as the musical comedy group that burst onto the festival circuit almost 30 years ago, to a mixture of critical lauding and utter contemptuous disgust, is returning to the stage after a long haitus.

It's been well worth the wait, as this show had tears of laughter running down faces all across the venue.

Featuring only two of the original trio, Paul McDermott and Tim Ferguson, they are joined by a new, but old, guitarist in the form of Paul 'Flacco' Livingston, who bears some of the brunt of the humour as the new (old) guy. But, regardless of line-up changes, the group has retained its dark-as-hell humour, its comic timing, and its ability to send themselves up continually.

There's initially a bittersweet tinge to the comedy, as one of the reasons for the group's disappearance from the comedy circuits for so long was on account of Ferguson's multiple sclerosis. His being in a wheelchair sat at odds with the audience for about all of a minute before he launched into a chillingly brilliant self-depracating rant and his condition became a lynchpin of the comedy throughout.

The material was also wonderfully self-aware as the boys gleefully set about several fan favourite songs, along with new music that tied into their situation as a come-back band. It's not going to be humour that appeals to everyone, in fact there will be some killjoys who are offended by some of the gags and comments thrown out during the play, but for anyone lucky enough to have enjoyed their work first-hand, or to have been introduced during the DAAS drought, it's a breath of wonderfully filthy air on an otherwise dull day.