Tom Tom Crew
A fusion of hip-hop, acrobatics, contortion and incredible drumming skill, Tom Tom Crew is a standout at this year’s Melbourne Festival. A fusion of hip-hop, acrobatics, contortion and incredible drumming skill, Tom Tom Crew is a standout at this year’s Melbourne Festival.
For the most part, this show is a continuous stream of energy that shatters audience’s expectations from the get-go, and pushes boundaries in all areas of performance. Tom Tom Crew sets the bar high in the first act and never relent.
An interwoven backflipping ensemble kicks the evening off, showcasing some of Australia’s funkiest acrobatic skills by Shane Witt, Daniel Catlow, Ben Lewis, David Carberry, Jamie McDowell and Mali De Goey. Individually the boys are impressive; as a team they are astounding. Add to this the drumming extraordinaire Ben Walsh, who takes his art form to new heights, and even indulging in an electronic harp solo in between MCing the whole performance. With a crew only consisting of eight members, but the skill of twenty, this show is bursting with talent.
Tom Thumb is the best in beatboxing that Australia has to offer, and exhibits talent beyond comprehension. It’s no surprise he’s a four-time OzHipHop Award winner. His performance ranges from crackling vinyl in ‘The Sound of Music’ to Michael Jackson, and all the backing vocals to go with it. There really seems nothing Tom Thumb’s voice isn’t capable of; his vocal range makes computers look lazy. Regardless of your appreciation of beatboxing, this guy is a definite highlight.
The acrobats fulfil the circus quota of the show with teeter board antics, a satisfying finale to a mind-blowing evening. This segment appears new to the show, as it’s a little less polished as others. Regardless, three-man towers and quadruple somersaults make up for the slightly unpolished nature this final act. It’s the raw edginess that makes this show like no other – these guys lack any hint of pretentiousness, performing all these incredible stunts in nothing but denim and rippling muscles.
It's difficult to think of a single person who wouldn’t enjoy this masterpiece of a performance. Despite its modern ‘streetwise’ reputation, this show draws a surprisingly mixed crowd. The audience’s age ranged from 5 to 75, and it was the oldies who were first to give the standing ovation.