The World Buskers Festival 2013
REVIEW Gamarjobat. The Press Club, Busker Park. 7pm yesterday. Reviewed by Charlie Gates.
In countless television cooking shows you often hear the host saying that a simple dish cooked to perfection is the aim of a top chef.
They always say that cooking a perfect omelette is a good test for a chef. It's simple, but takes real skill to get right.
Japanese silent duo Gamarjobat are the perfect omelette of the busking world.
The tricks and gags are very simple, but they are delivered with such precision and flair that you are instantly won over.
If you have seen enough buskers over the years, you will be quite familiar with their material. But they have two things many other buskers lack - rock 'n' roll strut combined with technical perfection.
The rock 'n' roll strut is provided by the red and yellow mohawks, the matching suits and the dark glasses; the technical perfection can only have been provided by years of dedication.
And, like the best performers, they make it look effortless.
The duo's 45-minute show flies past in what feels like about 10 minutes. It is silly, funny and faster than a Japanese bullet train. If you don't like one routine, don't worry - there'll be another one along in a minute.
They reel off goofy magic tricks, classic mime and audience participation in a wordless flurry of quickfire set pieces. We've all seen the routine with a suitcase stuck in midair or someone miming a trip down in a lift, but it's fun to see it done with such skill, verve and invention.
It is these qualities that helped them overcome what can sometimes be a tricky venue.
The translucent skin of the dome-shaped venue in Hagley Park lets in daylight, which feels like the house lights have been left up for the earlier shows, and people at the back can sometimes struggle to see things happening on the floor of the stage. But these are minor niggles and didn't impair the show. In a city like Christchurch we are glad about any venue where we can gather and laugh together.
And Gamarjobat will certainly make you laugh. I wasn't utterly wowed by them, but their show is a well-crafted piece of solid entertainment.
When you're hungry, a good omelette can't be beat. Gamarjobat are the funniest damn omelette you'll ever see.
- The Press