Words: Kat Painter
“We are The Brothers Streep, we hope you’ll laugh until you weep, but if you don’t then here’s the plan, please tell your friends we’re Deep Fried Man” – Hello
(Stand Up Musicians, 2014)
Since becoming a fan of The Brothers Streep I know the life history of Anna Paquin, regard Joshua Doore more highly than the average person would and am sure in the knowledge that a chocolate flavoured Sterie Stumpie can get me through anything. Plus, if anyone happens to need a 60 second review of the year 2011, I can rattle that off with ease.
The Brothers Streep, an acoustic comedy band based in Cape Town, just finished their last show in a three year run at the National Arts Festival. Dylan “baby face” Hichens and Simon “I’ll take the melody” van Wyk (co-founders with members Rich Graham, Tim Price and Tim Smith) perform regularly in Cape Town as either the full band or the duo. Their show (Stand Up Musicians) has increased in popularity over the years at National Arts Festival, and it’s easy to see why With their catchy tunes, witty banter and immaculate suits, they’re on a mission to prove that they’re more than “those guys who sang that song on Idols that one time”. I’d like to say that the show has something for everyone, but if you’re looking for hard hitting political comedy you’re more likely to find songs about restaurants. But that’s okay, silliness is the undertone of everything The Brothers Streep do, and South African politics is an easy comedic target anyway. That guy who takes 27 items to the express check out queue is a better target. Let’s all target that guy!
As a long-time fan I found this year’s performance to be too similar to previous years, however, this is sure to only affect a minority. They may go through the motions but they do it very well.
If you didn’t manage to catch the show, all the songs and more can be found on their new album (aptly named, you guessed it, Stand Up Musicians) which was released this year. In the director’s commentary Simon called the songs on the album “the best we have written…maybe…I dunno”. I do agree, the songs are better than ever. But the best thing about buying a Brothers Streep album is all the extras they cram on at the last minute: director and cast commentary, photo-shoot stills and an exclusive behind the scenes video. The fact that it’s exclusive is also an achievement because in the 15 weeks preceding the album release the Brothers took turns compiling a weekly video diary (find it on youtube.com/thebrothersstreep). These little touches give so much insight into the album making process and make you appreciate how much work went into the project. Even if the songs weren’t as great as they are, the album would still be worth it.
I’d give Stand Up Musicians 4.5 stars out of 5, or 17 bounces on a spring-free trampoline. Although it is sad to see Stand Up Musicians off the roster for NAF next year, the Brothers might be back with something completely different. So hold your thumbs or, alternatively, drown your sorrows in Sterie Stumpies.