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The Axis of Awesome: Comedy Festival Review

By tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

Published: 11:53AM Monday April 30, 2012

The Axis of Awesome are a three piece Aussie comedy rock band, who apparently have been together for 40 years. Although as the show goes on, it turns out they've been together for some 150 years.

Yep, it's that kind of night in Auckland's Comedy Chamber.

The trio consists of gangly tall guitarist Lee Naimo, lead singer Jack Blackesque Jordan Raskopoulos and keyboard player and short guy Benny Davis.

Comedy songs are a tough nut to crack to be honest; they're either side splittingly funny or a bit lame. Thankfully, with a bit of clever wordplay and general good humour, Axis of Awesome manage to be more amusing than irritating.

But thanks to a rather average sound mix at the start, most of their lyrics in the opening number were lost in a mix of guitar and keyboard and I was a little worried the cavernous Chamber may have been their downfall - however, with some banter and discussion throughout the show between the trio (as well as a running gag mocking Benny's height) they soon managed to win over the somewhat reluctant crowd as they dished out their Songwriting 101 style humour.

Parodying a myriad of styles, the three of them demonstrated that they actually know what they're talking about - from love songs to boyband tracks, from the most irritating dance music song to their trademark Four Chord medley (which took in just shy of 50 songs), they're clearly in the know as they frame their lyrical epithets.

Of the night, I'd have to say the second half of the hour was more fun than the first - whether it's the fact they'd found their groove or the sound mix had sorted itself out, I'm not sure; but with a love song that descended into a German speech and a dance track called Can You Hear The F**king Music Coming Out Of My Car, they had all of us wrapped in their musical warmth and merriment. It could also have been a little something to do with the relative reluctance of the crowd to get into it - seated and reticent, while the Axis gave it their all, there wasn't as much laugh out loud love back from the sitting masses.

There were plenty of laugh out loud moments from the Axis guys themselves and with some musical smarts as well, there was food for thought for the head - I just can't help but feel that with a slightly more enthusiastic crowd, The Axis could have been truly more Awesomer.

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