Hold on to your stripy socks! Lah-Lah shares their backstage secrets

Lah-Lah from ABC Kids are coming to the North Shore during the Winter School Holidays with Lah-Lah’s Stripy Sock Club Live Show! We sat down with the beloved entertainers to find out what life is really like as a child’s musical hero- and what we can expect from the show!

Tina, you’re an experienced live performer. How do you keep the show fresh every time?

The show always feels different (partly because Buzz often changes his lines!) but as all the band are trained jazz musicians, none of the solos are ever the same. No two Lah-Lah shows are musically ever the same. It means we’re having as much fun on stage as the audience is. We also do a lot of audience participation. I love asking the kids questions because hearing them shout out and be part of the show really breaks the barrier between the stage and the non-stage. It means the kids are actively part of the action. It’s the magic of Lah-Lah.

This is the ‘stripy sock’ tour – tell us about the concept? Do you really wear striped socks?

Of course! We’ve been wearing Stripy Socks for 10 years. But this show is special because it’s the LIVE show of the brand new TV show, The Stripy Sock Club. The show is premiering on ABC KIDS later this year. The Stripy Sock Club is a club for every girl and boy. It’s a cross between the old Mickey Mouse Club and the Monkees. It’s a super fun show that plays for about 50 minutes and after the show all the children and their families get to touch and play all the musical instruments.

What’s your most funny or touching moment from being recognised by a child fan?

I usually don’t get recognised by children out of costume, it’s parents who spot us and when we’re on tour we often go shopping together! It will be in the supermarket and a mum or dad will stop one of us and ask for a pic, then another one of us is there and they ask for another pic, then another one. By the time I turn up, poor Mum or Dad is ecstatic and the little one has absolutely no idea what’s going on.

No two Lah-Lah shows are ever the same. “We’re having as much fun on stage,” says Tina

Do you have any on-stage disasters or ’emergency!’ moments you can look back on now and laugh?

All the time and after you have been working together for so many years you know to just keep going and try not to laugh. I remember one show where we had just done a long flight and bumped in really early to the theatre. Buzz normally tunes Lola the double bass and in this show a Ukulele but he forgot the Uke. We started the song and the Uke was a whole tone flat. We had Squeezy on a melodica (which is a fixed pitch) and the 2 instruments clashed. Tom Tom is the worst at getting the giggles in the band and as soon as he starts, we all start. Thank goodness it was only a few bars and we could all jump back onto the main instruments. Buzz is now very good at double checking and re checking tuning.

What’s the value for kids in seeing live musicians and instruments on stage?

Oh gosh, where to start. Firstly, music is brain food for kids. There is so much research on how music and musical instruments help our little ones to form connections in the brain and help their development. Watching a musician play an instrument live and most importantly giving that child a chance to touch a musical instrument creates an emotional connection between that child and the experience. There also the cause and effect of looking or watching the instrument being played and hearing the sound. Music makes our kids smarter, better people and as parents we all want the best for our kids.

What changes have you noticed in families and how they interact over the years?

I think families now don’t travel as much for experiences. With the “download era”, we all are more used to things being available in the ‘here’ (at home) and ‘now’ (immediately). We used to base our tours around key venues in each city but now we find doing smaller more intimate shows closer to families areas is actually what parents want. Parents also don’t want to sit in theatres as much and like dance spaces or “baby mosh” areas so now we only book venues on the main tour with dance room and no fixed seating.

What’s your absolute favourite song to perform in the show?

Brush your teeth! It’s our anthem and most famous song. Everyone sings along.

As an artist, what other music do you love to listen to in your down time?

I love Corinne Bailey Rae, Jane Monheit, Kristin Berardi, Brad Mehldau, James Brown. I just love music, but I don’t really listen to opera much these days. I think I spent too many years at the Conservatorium studying.

Show Dates

Lah-Lah have two shows on the North Shore at Norths Leagues and Hornsby RSL. Dates, times and booking links below!

  • Norths Leagues (12 Abbott Street, Cammeray): 10.00am, Thursday 18 July
  • Hornsby RSL (4 High Street, Hornsby): 10.30am, Sunday 28 July



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