Mrs Peacock presents Rock 101

The Classic Studio, 321 Queen St, Auckland

22/05/2007 - 26/05/2007

BATS Theatre, Wellington

16/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Jarrod Baker and Dave Smith

Musical comedy act mrs.peacock aim to teach audiences how to rock with their brand new NZ International Comedy Festival show, ROCK 101.

The duo, who have been nominated for the 2007 Billy T James Award, will provide a comprehensive lesson in rocking, covering such important areas as Rock Musicianship, Rock Poses and Rock Faces, Dealing with Groupies, Performing Under the Influence, and more.  

Audience members will have the opportunity to fully participate in the show, joining mrs.peacock members Jarrod Baker and Dave Smith on stage to gain hands-on rock experience. 

“This show is for anyone who’s ever sung Def Leppard into their hairbrush, or played air guitar to Guns ‘n’ Roses,” says Baker. “If you’ve ever wanted to be a rock star, we’re here to help make your dreams come true.” 

mrs.peacock’s ROCK 101 premieres at Wellington’s BATS Theatre from 16 – 19 May, then moves to Auckland for a run at the Classic Studio from 22 – 26 May.

Dates:  Wed 16 – Sat 19 May, 9.30pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington City
Tickets:  Adults $15 Conc. $12 Groups 6+ $12
Bookings:  BATS 04 802 4175
Show Duration:  1 hour   

Dates:  Tue 22 – Sat 26 May, 9.45pm
Venue:  The Classic Studio, Level 1, 321 Queen St, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $15 Conc. $12 Groups 10+ $12
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour    

Theatre , Comedy , Music ,

1 hr

Do stadiums and shiny tour buses beckon?

Review by Nik Smythe 23rd May 2007

Mrs Peacock comprises Dave Smith and Jarrod Baker, pretty much a couple of laid back Kiwi Trevs who aspire to that very Australian (not that they advertise that particular factoid themselves) calling of being rockstars.

They cope well with an unenthusiastic initial audience response, and just meet us on our level, kicking off with a classically average pop/rock song about sleeping with their dead friend’s girlfriend, as an example of lyrical subject matter (lesson one).  They keep the crowd chuckling, sometimes with a funny joke, sometimes with a joke so predictable that it’s hilarious.  All the way imparting their essential know-how into what is truly Rock.  Lesson two clears the way for what is rock with examples of what is not rock.

There are a tidy ten shoddy lessons all told, and I shan’t try to impart them as I feel underqualified to do so.  It’s really the sort of education that you would serve yourself best by paying the fifteen bucks for your own hour long crash course.

Since they can’t play any covers without having to fork out APRA fees, each example is a generic approximation with ironic and/or absurd vocal style and lyrics.  Creating the generic examples of the variant styles explored is quite a feat in itself.  Most examples they provide are mainly of the lamer styles of rock (Christian rock, Nu-metal, and the current money-spinner Emo).  Presumably these are the easier styles to parody, and I dare say Mrs Peacock herself – I mean themselves – might tell you they could do more accomplished forms with better production values but that smacks of effort, which is apparently an element to be studiously avoided by the true dedicated rocker.  (Lesson something: Attitude Not Talent).

There is indeed much mirth to be milked from the cheap, shabby, lack-of-polish approach in comedic terms.  Even when they have no comeback for a gung-ho heckler, they simply shrug and move on and we laugh because in Rock ‘n’ Roll it’s uncool to try too hard.  They sure make not trying too hard look less easy than it’s supposed to.

I wonder if Mrs Peacock have any aspirations to developing a slicker, more professional Rock 101 seminar, or not?  The musical ability displayed in this ‘poor theatre’ version would suggest they could raise the entertainment value by degrees with more budget, maybe a live rhythm section.  Of course there’d always be purists who reckon they were better when it was just them two with no mixer.

The format reminds me of Te Radar’s show with it’s lecture seminar type delivery, although appropriately with less budget – where did they get that old school overhead projector?  Just seeing one of those is a trip down memory lane in itself.

Ultimately Rock 101 is more a connected series of excuses for some dumb rock joke songs.  As is, it’s an adequate hour of escapism.  But if it’s a work in progress one can potentially see stadiums and shiny tour buses in Mrs Peacock’s future.  And groupies, real ones, not just pretend.


neil furby May 25th, 2007

Hey Joe. Get your musical genres correct. The Flight of the Conchords are a folk parody group

Joe Richards May 24th, 2007

Yeah I saw these guys three times... Rock and Roll will never die! Totally enjoyed their live stuff - much like a smutty flight of the conchords

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Beautiful, brilliant, bliss

Review by John Smythe 17th May 2007

Popular favourites ‘Mrs Peacock’ – Jarrod Baker, Dave Smith, two mics, one guitar (well two, but one at a time played by Dave) and a digital music player – open Rock 101 with their excellent song to a late friend Tony, compiled I suspect with much recourse to a rhyming dictionary as the true nature of this ‘best mates’ relationship is revealed.

This exemplifies Lesson One: Subject Matter – a friend has died. Lesson Two covers How Not to Rock – what or who is not Rock? Answer: Jack Johnson, dispatched in a short sharp musical epitaph. The Songwriting lesson tells us how to be successful rather than good. The first genre lesson satirises Christian Rock, later Nu Metal is targeted, then the love song is inverted to an evol one.

Their beautiful low-key delivery combines with great musicality to ensure each lesson is entertaining. A Rock History lesson takes us through the 1950s, 60s and 70s (I’d argue, by the way, that Bill Haley and The Comets, not Elvis Presley, were the first to define the genre, with ‘Rock Around the Clock’). Myths about performing under the influence are busted and genre cross-overs get a great run.

So how to you bring it all together? With emo rock, of course; with the plaintive refrain, "You don’t understand my pain". Brilliant. And they have a strong enough fan base now to as for requests come encore time. We were treated to ‘Newtown Love Song’, involving a New World checkout girl. Bliss.


Super Dooper May 24th, 2007

'Rock n roll is dead' is the most stupid thing anyone can say on the subject. And any way, theatre should be a bit rock n roll. It should be vital and exciting and crafted in such a way that the audience actually wants more when the curtain falls. Long live theatre.

neil furby May 24th, 2007

Hey, people Rock and Roll is dead, move on, this a theatre review web site not a rock a billys reminiscence chit chat room.

Jake May 23rd, 2007

Completely agree SooperDooper - but I'm afraid you could still feel the earthquake (personally Heartbreak Hotel did it for me)

Super Dooper May 23rd, 2007

'Rock Around the Clock' sucks. It sucks so very, very much. Listen to the damn thing. It's a clean, tidy, safe little shuffle. You can't fuck to it. It ain't rock and roll. Bill Haley is the boy your parents didn't bother warning you about. Gimme Little Richard's scream on 'Lucille', Gene Vinent's growl on 'Catman', Chuck Berry's proto-rap on 'Maybellene'! Anything but that preppy crooner Bill Haley. By the way, 'Rock 101' is a good show.

Jake May 23rd, 2007

Bloody academics! This isn't an issue where they have ANY authority! You had to BE there - and feel the world starting to rock with - Rock Around the Clock. That's the one that turned the sea change into a tidal wave (as we called them then!)

nik smythe May 23rd, 2007

I had always been told by my parents' generation and on teevee specials that Rock Around the Clock was the birth of rock'n roll in 1955. However the true academics have it that while rock around the clock was the first rock'n roll movie, the official first rock 'n roll single was That's Alright Mama, by the king almost a year before in 1954.

Michele ACourt May 18th, 2007

As I suspected - genius. But what the hell are you doing posting comments at 4.22am? That's very rock'n'roll. Get some sleep!

Jarrod Baker May 18th, 2007

It's interesting you say that - what we actually said on the night was that Elvis stole rock from the African Americans. I understand this is why he was subsequently incarcerated, inspiring Jailhouse Rock. And thank you.

Michele ACourt May 18th, 2007

Oh, plus Mrs Peacock rocks. And rolls.

Michele ACourt May 18th, 2007

I heard Chris Bourke, who knows everything about music, say on Nat Rad that "Rock and Roll" is the African American euphemism for sex. So wouldn't it be likely that someone black started the musical genre and coined the phrase?

martyn roberts May 17th, 2007

actually it was Bing Crosby

Charlotte Larsen May 17th, 2007

Everyone knows John Dowland invented rock and roll. Just ask Sting.

Jarrod Baker May 17th, 2007

It's well known that Bill Haley was a filthy liar. Ask anyone.

Super Dooper May 17th, 2007

A decent look at what was the 'first rock and roll record' can be found, of course, here: I go for 'Rocket 88', with 'That's All Right Mama' at number two. 'Rock Around the Clock' is such a tame, insipid little ditty I have trouble considering it a real rock and roll song at all, despite the use of that word in its title. It may have raised some pulses at the time, but so did 'In the Mood' before it and 'Fernando' after it. Real rock and roll, for my money, is shit like 'C'Mon Everybody' and 'Be-Bop-A-Lula'. And remeber what Mos Def says: "You may dig on the Rolling Stones/ But they ain't come up with that style on they own."

roger hall May 17th, 2007

John Smythe is right, Rock Around the Clock was THE defining moment of rock and roll. It was used in the movie BLACKBOARD JUNGLE in 1955. In the UK youths (Teddy Boys especially) rioted during and after the film, which did the movie no harm at all. But the song electrified a whole generation and Rock and Roll was born... (Sounds a nice show, though.) Roger Hall

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