REVIEW: Tom Tom Crew

Originally published by Buzzcuts, Express Media 

It rare to find in the same room – or in this case, the same big top – not only a crew of very talented acrobats, but also a DJ on vinyl and keys, one of Australia’s most prolific beatboxers, one man simultaneously conquering 8 drums and a little bit of graff work for good measure. You go to the Big Top in the Garden of Unearthly Delights to be awed by a show that promises to deliver. The Tom Tom Crew raised the bar and delivered a performance that was relentlessly engaging and an extraordinary showcase of eight very talented performers.

The Tom Tom Crew is where hip-hop beats and human strength and flexibility conflate to produce a routine that is designed to stimulate and provoke. Luke Dubbs (Hermitude) did a brilliant job keeping both the audience and the performers’ energy levels up and guiding us through the hour-long performance of visual and audio overload. The show itself was choreographed incredibly well with the acrobatics interspersed with Ben Walsh (The Bird, Circle of Rhythm) and his style of “Kung Fu drumming”, sliced up with segments of Tom Thum’s and his extraordinary mouth. The Tom Tom Crew effectively packed as much as humanly possible within the hour they graced the stage, but managed to maintain a light heartedness and enthusiasm that kept the entire show afloat.

One of the unexpectedly delightful elements of the Tom Tom Crew was the opportunity the audience was given to get to know a little of each of the performers. Ben Walsh was constantly on game, larger than life, making sure everyone both on and off stage maintained extreme energy and absolute focus on the show. Tom Thum came across as one of the most endearing of performers. Incredibly talented and visibly young, as he performed feats with his voice box that most of us cannot fathom, he constantly undercut himself just slightly and came across as a highly likeable showman. Even the acrobats worked the crowd incredibly well.

In the final scene of the performance I attended, one of the acrobats faltered on his final trick for the night. He looked shattered and asked the audience for a take two… then a take three. The audience went wild for him when he succeeded in triple-quadruple-quintariple(?) summersault. The Tom Tom Crew owes part of its success to its capacity to bring the audience along with it every step of the way.

The Tom Tom Crew is a phenomenal show. Suitable for all audiences that are willing to be wow-ed by a tight act, performed by a highly talented crew.

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