Pulling up our stripy socks and tuning up our voices, our family of four headed down to the South Juniors venue in Kingsford where Lah Lah, Buzz, Squeezy Sneezy, Tom Tom and Mr Saxophone were due to take the stage as they kicked off their 2016 tour.
Succumbing to my four year old’s wishes I bought her a Lah Lah doll ($25) from the merchandise stand which she kept glued to her side for the duration of the show (and still hasn’t parted with) as Lah Lah’s Big Live Band prepared to serve up their unique brand of entertainment.
Introducing children to some of the fundamental components of a big band and breaking down technical terms into kid-friendly morsels; the premise of Lah Lah and co.’s performances is one that makes the majesty of big band accessible and fun. Presenting each of the band members in turn along with their instruments, the show kicked off with one of the group’s well-loved tunes, catchy and engaging from the start.
From the belly button ballroom to Lah Lah the wind-up doll, the band’s live shows are nothing if not witty, diverse and thoroughly entertaining with educational elements woven through the lyrics, the interactions and choreography. The youngest audience members danced along to every number and were delighted when Mr Saxophone jumped down into their midst for a game of hide n seek with his fellow bandmates.
At one point the band sat at the edge of the stage to discover what Tom Tom had in his bucket, from which he pulled out miniature versions of each of their instruments, including a Ukulele in place of Lola, Buzz’s beloved bass, a little horn for Mr Saxophone and then turning over the bucket, Tom Tom created a little drum for himself in place of his usual drum-kit. Feeding into their comparisons of soft voices and big voices, which they invited the audience to join in with; these smaller versions of their instruments complemented the idea perfectly, giving their young fans a visible and tangible example of how sounds can be big or small.
It is their passion for integrating learning into the very ethos of their music that sets Lah Lah’s Big Live Band apart from other children’s musical acts, and this is extended at the close of each of their shows when the entire band hops off stage and into the audience for a 20 minute meet and greet. My four year old, like her peers, was thrilled to have the opportunity to have a strum on Lola, bang on Tom Tom’s drum and get her picture taken with Lah Lah herself. Learning a little more about each of the instruments during this close-up experience is such a wonderful way of furthering our children’s generation appreciation for and love of music.
The Lah Lah Live national tour continues to grace stages across Australia from now until 26 July with their final 2016 show in Melbourne, Victoria in November. To find out when Lah Lah and co will be hitting a stage near you and to book tickets go to http://www.lah-lah.com/live-shows/ .