Where: Room 4 at Tuxedo Cat
The magnificently almost-real sounds of Barry Morgan’s organ first entered my world through the music quiz show heaven that was Spicks and Specks. The performance left me laughing so hard I wept, and Barry’s grin was on my mind for days. Finally seeing the Adelaide cult figure in all his outrageous, retro glory was like an acid trip come true.
Not having been to Tuxedo Cat in previous years, I am unable to compare 2017’s re-incarnation of the venue to its predecessors. Fake grass and wooden crates behind a poster-covered temporary fence led to a bar and foyer of fringe-appropriate dinginess in what seemed to be an old building recently done up for the purpose. Not unpleasant, although we all knew what Barry meant when he welcomed us to his “show in the crack house!” – all in good humour.
Barry exhibited his golden safari suit, got questionably familiar with the audience and plugged the fact that you too can hire him for a private organ party, before getting down to business. Evidently an expert at his craft, Morgan played an impressive suite of space-themed pop hits on his 1981 Hammond Aurora Classic organ through a rotating Leslie speaker.
The evening was kept upbeat with audience participation and breaks of stand-up. We were encouraged to guess the songs played, sing along to Barry-oke and even learn about playing the organ ourselves with Barry’s famed one-finger method. He sipped Campari, took Bex powder, and reminisced of his late mother along with her signature tinned-pineapple highlighted home cooking.
Barry Morgan is Out of this World was polished and cheesy in all the right places while still managing to be genuinely hilarious. Performer Stephen Teakle is undoubtedly accomplished and has created an urban legend to be proud of, and one which has drawn some seriously dedicated fans. Morgan also kindly appeared after the show to sell merchandise and take photos. Barry will be appearing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March and April, and various other events in Australia and around the globe throughout the year.
4.5 out of 5 stars