GRAMMY Award-winning folk comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords play that rarity at York Barbican this week, a three-night run.

As part of their expanded British and Irish edition of the Flight Of The Conchords Sing Flight Of The Conchords Tour, New Zealanders Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie will be in York from Friday to Sunday.

On the road from this week to April 3, the duo will be showcasing new material on an arena and theatre tour that makes stops in Portsmouth, London, York, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds (First Direct Arena, March 27) and Liverpool.

Clement and McKenzie first met in 1996 at Victoria University, Wellington, when they performed in a University Drama Club production called Body Play. They were put in a group of five men to create a short theatrical piece about male body issues, and they duly wore nothing but skin-coloured bike shorts, giving the audience the illusion they were naked.

From that short vignette, the five developed another pseudo-nude show, So, You’re A Man, performing to sell-out audiences in Wellington and Auckland, and were then invited to play the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They flew to Australia for a one-month season at Melbourne comedy club The Last Laugh, but the Australians did not appreciate the show like New Zealand had and the season was cancelled after one week.

In 1998, Clement and McKenzie decided to start a band, pooling their combined knowledge of three chords on the guitar. Their first song was Foux Du FaFa – all of two chords – and they called themselves Moustache, featuring Clement on guitar, McKenzie on Casio-tone and their friends Toby Laing and Tim Jaray on trumpet and double bass.

After performing their one song at the Wellington Fringe Festival late night club, the pair continued to write songs in their living room, then landed a gig at the Thursday night Comedy Club.

On the afternoon of the show, they realised they needed a band name. Possibilities dismissed were Roxygen Supply, Albatrocity, and Tanfastic, but the final choice was chanced on in a series of events that went something like this: Clement noticed the flat loo was called the Concorde; he suggested the name Conchord, whereupon McKemnzie said 'What about Flight Of The Conchords'?. Clement said 'Okay', so did Mckenzie; Clement said 'Okay then' and McKenzie said 'We should go to the gig, we’re late'."

That night Flight Of The Conchords played to 11 people, and the rest is history. Now, on their latest Flight, tickets are still available for all three 7.30pm shows in York on 0844 854 2757, at or in person from the Barbican box office.