Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Tom Tom Crew

E4 Udderbelly
Southbank
(2009)

Publicity image

It's difficult to describe the indescribable. I shall do my best but have to insist that you go down to the big, upside-down, purple cow on Southbank and catch the Tom Tom Crew for yourself as this is an act that must be experienced first hand. Yes, you did read right, I did say a big, upside-down, purple cow, otherwise know as the E4 Udderbelly; a temporary venue which has been erected as part of the Summer season down on Southbank.

The Udderbelly is due to present a wide variety of shows but for now it has opened its udder(?) to the Tom Tom Crew, direct from Broadway, after sell-out shows in Sydney and Edinburgh. This is a circus for the clubbing generation. This youthful, vibrant group of boys from Australia combine their talents to make music and show off their acrobatic prowess in the most imaginative and unbelievable of ways.

On the decks you have Sampology who has turned spinning records into an art form as he combines sound and vision to create a multimedia sensation. DJ Dizz1 is on the drums; but why keep things simple? Of course drums are fine but it's far more exciting to do something different, like play blue plastic barrels for instance. DJ Dizz1 creates as much energy and buzz as if he were playing an electronic drum kit as his arms move at such a speed, his drum sticks become a blur, all the while ensuring that the audience are pumped and there's a "vibe" in the house. Generating music in the most inspired of ways, DJ Dizz1 is also spectacular on the omnichord; but you'll have to see the show for yourself to learn more about this instrument.

Tom Thumb's beatboxing is like a magic trick as he produces the most bizarre spectrum of sounds, often making three of four sounds simultaneously. He is the mixing deck, the drum kit, saxophone, bass guitar and even the female vocals as he becomes a jazz quartet or a DJ scratching his records. It really is something that has to be seen to be believed.

As if this wasn't enough, you then have four acrobats flipping their way about the space, hanging from the ceiling, executing the most fantastic displays of agility and throwing themselves from a teeter board (imagine a terrifying see-saw) which leaves you with your heart in your mouth.

Separately these acts are impressive but combined they are a spectacle. Tom Thumb hooks his microphone to the decks and lays down his catalogue of sounds for Sampology to scratch, filter and reverse (yeah, I know the lingo; I'm down with the kids!) Meanwhile DJ Dizz1 is beating his drums like a maniac whilst the acrobats bounce, somersault and fly across the space as if dancing in a club.

I've already given too much away, so let me just finish by saying the Tom Tom Crew are an example of pure, raw talent at its best. These boys are clearly having the time of their lives on this stage and what's great is that they are determined the audience will share this experience with them.

Until 17th July

Reviewer: Rachel Sheridan