Tomás Ford’s Crap Music Rave Party: End Of Year Ball is set to ruin your good taste at The Bakery on Saturday, December 27, before hitting the road. BOB GORDON checks into the Ford Clinic.
Describe the Crap Music Rave Party. What can go wrong? What can go right?
I spend the night playing music I genuinely hate, as requested by the audience who write down a huge list of ideas on the paper I have sprawled all over the stage. Me and my transvestite hype man, Ayden Doherty, then proceed to get everyone stupidly hyped up, project silly rave projections, light the crowd with DIY disco lights and generally put the party into maximum overdrive. We do everything in our power to make it the dumbest, funnest night you can have. I’ll play anything so long as it’s crap, but it can’t just be something you don’t like, everyone has to think it’s crap.
What do we rejoice so much in what we openly acknowledge as crap songs?
The crowds I get along to these things are evenly split between people who genuinely love the worst possible shit, and people who know that what they are dancing to is awful. It’s hard to act cool while dancing to the Black Eyed Peas; the music shatters the credibility of everybody in the room, so you’re all on an even playing field. When people don’t care what other people are doing around them, that’s the kind of chaos I’ve always chased.
You’re taking this on the road. How does the choice of crap vary from region to region?
This show actually takes a lot of research to take on the road – the variety of crap they listen to in the UK is very different from what we listen to here. I was a bit taken aback the first time I did this overseas, actually, I spent about a hundred bucks on iTunes that night just to keep up! The requests tend toward the Europop side of things over there, and crappy trance and rave tracks that I can play in Australia result in musical arguments with passionate ex-gurners.
Here, people’s biggest cringes tend to be Australian; Human Nature, Savage Garden, CDB, Daryl Braithwaite, Barnsey, Farnsey and some of the cheesier INXS things – they’ll always get a huge collective groan. And then we scream the words to them.
As it turns out, Crazy Frog is universal.
Describe how 2014 played out for you…
I built a new show, a spy thriller, The Final Chase, which I’m hugely proud of, and is coming to Subiaco Arts Centre in May. While I was touring that around, I started sliding Crap Music Rave Party into festivals alongside it as a bit of a laugh and it went nuts. Sold out in Adelaide and we sold almost double the capacity of the room each night in Edinburgh. Both of those festivals are usually a slog, so it was pretty amazing to have something go so nuts at those and actually come away in the black for a change! I didn’t heavily market the parties either – people just seem to love this concept. I got to take my cabaret shows around Melbourne, London, Dublin and a surprisingly kickass residency in Rockingham, too.
2015. What do you make of it?
2015 is gently terrifying – these parties make a lot more touring possible, and I love that, so my schedule is starting to get pretty hectic. I’m taking this and my other shows on the road to Adelaide, Melbourne, London, Brighton and some insane European touring that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. Not to mention Edinburgh, where I’ll be taking these parties into a huge nightclub and actually advertising them this year!