In a sold-out season, we were lucky enough to get seats to see Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band in concert.
As it turns out, seats weren’t necessary because my four-year-old daughter and five-year-old niece barely sat down for the entire show. They were ultra-excited seeing Lah-Lah and her stripy socks in person, with the four-year-old repeatedly yelling “Look! It’s Lah-Lah off TV!”
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Sydney-based Tina Harris (Lah-Lah), lead singer and co-creator of the band, works alongside her husband Mark (Buzz the Bandleader), and three other band members aptly named, Mister Saxophone, Squeezy Sneezy the piano accordion, Tom Tom on drums, to form Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band. They’ve appeared across our screens from shows on ABC KIDS, CBeebies, and the Seven Network. Imagine how cool it must be for Tina and Mark's two children to have such musical parents!
As engaging as Lah-Lah's Big Live Band is on screen, seeing them in the flesh is a whole new experience, for kids and parents alike. The bold sounds of a live band are hard to beat (no pun intended). With each instrument getting its own solo, as a way to introduce the children to the various pieces that make up the band, Lah-Lah’s commitment to exposing children to the joys of musical instruments is ever present. There's little surprise they've won awards for their live shows (Awarded Best Live Children's Show at the recent Australian Club Entertainment Awards 2015).
My children have been extremely lucky to have learnt about a wide array of instruments, as my nephew is a very talented cello player for the Melbourne Youth Orchestra. However, many children have never had the opportunity to see these instruments up close. Naming the instruments is a catchy way to give them all their own character and a great educational strategy for young children to remember which is which. Lola the Dancing Double Bass was very popular with the kids.
What I really loved about the show was how inclusive the band members were of the children. I know that sounds like an obvious point, but many children’s performers get up on stage, do their set act and wave goodbye. Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band members actually came down to the audience when they were finished, and let children ask questions, as well as touch and admire their instruments. It was lovely to see them as approachable and inviting, as well as making instruments an exciting feature rather than something that you shouldn’t touch.
Tina had a swarm of children around her, all wanting “a photo with Lah-Lah”. The band really do practice what they preach about introducing children and their families to the wonderful world of music and musical instruments.
Lastly, some very clever merchandising with the reasonably priced gorgeous Lah-Lah dolls, red headbands, little backpacks, striped tees and light up musical instruments, were a big hit with the masses of kids in the crowd. I had blurred vision from all the stripes!
The girls each left with a doll and a headband to remind them of their time at the show. As my four-year-old buckled her Lah-Lah doll into the carseat with her, she asked, “Can we go there again tomorrow?”