This Friday evening, Dutch trio Tin Men and the Telephone rock up at Turner Sims with their unique show which allows the audience to decide the plot and music via an app.
Comprising Tony Roe on piano, Pat Cleaver on bass, and Bobby Petrov on drums, Tin Men and the Telephone’s latest album, Furie, is a science fiction story described as providing ‘a humorous and provocative look at our modern world through the lens of fake news and alternative facts’. Furie is an acronym to stand for Federal Union for Restoring Intergalactic Equilibrium, an alien peace force sent to Earth to intervene against rising populism and despotism in world affairs.
Tin Men and the Telephone have developed an app, called Tinmendo, which is available on Google Play and App Store. The app allows the audience to determine which world figure merits abduction by Furie and to collectively compose a new world anthem to be performed on the spot by the band. Aside from during their performances, the app also allows those who download it to create their own random music tunes.
While the app’s music tune creation feature wasn’t working effectively when checking it out, the interactive website for this crazy show was. Providing a taster of things to come for those who attend the show, it revealed a selection of world figures audiences can choose from to abduct: Nigel Farage; Marine Le Pen; Nicolás Maduro; Kim Jong Un; Donald Trump; Vladimir Putin; Viktor Orbán; Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. By clicking or dragging on a figure, the music stops and excerpts of the chosen individual speaking play. However, these excerpts have been adapted, synthesised and carefully chosen to produce some entertaining and surprising sounds – my personal favourite is Putin’s.
Tin Men and the Telephone have received praise for their innovative use of technology and multimedia in their work. In a 5-star review by The Times, the show was described as ‘a 21st-century gig in which multimedia gadgetry and a sense of mischief combine to create something fresh and unexpected’. Meanwhile, the music the Dutch trio produce is an eclectic mix, but most of all, centres around acoustic jazz and electronic.
Tin Men and the Telephone will be touring elsewhere, but their Turner Sims show is on Friday 8th February at 8pm. Tickets cost £11 for a student and £7.50 if you have a performing arts (PA) card. If an evening of Bandersnatch-style interactivity, acoustic jazz and a hint of social commentary appeals, click here to purchase tickets.