You may have seen DC3’s name around town – the three-piece regularly pack out pubs, and last year raised more than $10,000 via Pozible to record its recently-released second album May Contain Traces of Nut.
The DC3’s music is loud and catchy, and the involvement of former TISM creator Damian Cowell means the lyrics are biting and witty – but by no means should the band ever be put alongside Tripod and the Bedroom Philosopher in the ‘musical comedy’ basket.
With this in mind, the band’s inclusion on the Comedy Festival bill seemed a little strange at first. But it makes sense when the hour-long Ringtone Cycle – the band’s low-budget interpretation of Richard Wagner’s epic four-part opera The Ring Cycle – turns out to have less emphasis on the rock and more on Cowell’s stories.
There’s a surreal but always funny narrative in several parts, spanning everything from the musician’s nostalgia for Chiko rolls to the AFL drugs scandal and the whereabouts of one-time party boy Corey Worthington.
A ‘leaked’ audiotape, allegedly featuring fellow Comedy Festival acts Ricky Nixon (yes, the former sports agent who last week pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-fiancé) and Dave Hughes in their own profanity-laced version of Frost/Nixon, is a highlight.
Something for the TISM fans, too: an anecdote in which Cowell claims that in the band’s formative days, it sent letters to rock stars and politicians – including Paul Keating – inviting them to join as percussionist (“a few years later, he was Prime Minister – but fuck, Paul, you could have been in TISM!”).
The show is punctuated by a handful of tracks from the band’s two albums. There are some minor sound issues on opening night – clearly the basement venue is more used to oh-so serious theatre than rock shows – but it’s the only quibble in what is otherwise a very solid blend of music and laughs.