Tag Archives: melbourne fringe 2013

Melbourne Fringe 2013 – Sing, Swing, Get in the Mood!

with the Pacific Belles
Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013
Madame Brussels, Sunday 6th October 2013

I have been following the adventures of UK three piece acapella group the Three Belles and have wished there was a similar group in Melbourne for a while. There was the “World War Wonderful” show, but it was just a one-off and I do get to go see bands such as the Nymphs, Aluka and Ginger and Tonic regularly.

This is the third of my trio of all-female music shows at Melbourne Fringe and I have been enjoying them as I don’t often get to go see three new shows in a row and see people I have not seen before.

The premise of the show is that it is set in an air raid shelter, with period signs on the walls next to the doorway and appropriately moody lighting. The group decides to put on a show to liven things up.

I enjoyed having the different personalities of Betty, Vera and Dot playing off each other and especially Dot’s clowning around, she ended up on someone’s knee at one point and is the funny one out of the group.

The selection of songs matched the era with Andrews Sisters, Vera Lyn, Doris Day with a few contemporary numbers thrown in to spice things up. They did sing a long to a backing track, but this was added to by having appropriate wartime sound effects to help the narrative.

I also enjoyed the costumes as in the first half they had the World War II uniform and for the second half they came out in matching Hawaiian print dresses and made everyone do the dance moves of “Rum and Coca Cola” – it was a small enough venue that they could see anyone not taking part so you had to.

I had a lot of fun and not just from the jug of Mai Tai that I had before the show, unfortunately this meant that I was ready to go sleepy time by the end so I might have nodded off by accident, whoops!

It was really great to see a new all female group doing this type of music and I hope to see them around in the future. Now if I could just find someone who did Betty Hutton songs and the physical comedy that went with them…

http://thepacificbelles.com.au/

Melbourne Fringe 2013 – Keira Daley : LadyNerd

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013
Tuxedo Cat, Thursday 3rd October 2013

I have to admit I booked this show after seeing the line “Piano bar meets Sega Megadrive” and even shared a link with Jaz Rignall who used to write for the Mean Machines magazine in the UK in the 90s.

It is a complete coincidence that three quarters of the shows at this year’s Melbourne Fringe I am going to see are by female musicians. I have been to see the Lady Sings It Better and am looking forward to seeing the Pacific Belles on Sunday.

The main premise of the show is telling the story of “Lady Nerds” throughout history in song and humorous anecdote, with a stop by on disco pinball on the way, if you grew up watching Sesame Street you will know what I am talking about.

All the stories are great, but I enjoyed the Marie Curie one the best as I once did a project on Polish stamp in primary school that had Ms Curie featured on it and won a prize.

There is an impressive amount of music in this show, all original songs although some of the tunes have been adapted and the keyboardist keeps up very well. There was one song on the projection screen just to give them both a break.

I really liked the show and tried hard to get all the jokes and clap hard after every song. The show only has a very short run so you better scoot off to see it if you want to catch it at all.

Keira Daley’s next show is called “Keira Daley vs. the 90s” and as a special treat she sang the Daria theme song at the end of the show as it features in her new show with a full band.

Melbourne Fringe 2013 – The DC3: Modern Unconsciousness

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013
The Ballroom at the Lithuanian Club, Tuesday 1st October 2013

The start of this show was more like a normal gig in that I did get to hang out with the band in the bar. It’s a great bar and I would recommend arriving early as they have social club prices for drinks and you can drink “Strawberry Kisses” cider in a 500ml can.

I had missed the DC3’s album launch despite having put money into the Pozible campaign and also the comedy festival show as I did not have any money, so I was determined to make it to this show as it was there last appearance until next year.

Unfortunately the show was delayed due to technical issues with the projector not working, I could still read most of the captions from the laptop screen though and also saw some of the “Glitz and Glam” mock-ups from a fake MX spread including Hitler amongst others.

The narrator of the show is God who explains how he was evil all along and Satan was just his PR guy with the narrative of the show following the quest for modern unconsciousness including “songs that won’t be on the DC3’s new album” in probably the only time they will get a run.

As expected there were some rants aimed at other Fringe shows and a wish they sold as many tickets as Randy the puppet.

There was the usual needless set decoration with large pieces of scenery being moved around and bananas on a pedestal. The pieces of set looked pretty heavy to move, lucky Henri and Doug are strong.

If you are a fan of the band then you do not need encouragement to see the show, I would also recommend it you would like to see something different than the usual comedy routines that get a trial run at fringe or are not cool enough for the cutting edge shows.

Melbourne Fringe 2013 – The Lady Sings It Better

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013
The Ballroom at the Lithuanian Club, Tuesday 1st October 2013

YOU ARE IN THE DANGER AREA!

Feminist “issues” cabaret would normally not be something I would rush to see, but I do have quite a soft spot for groups of women singing. Several of my favourite local bands involve groups of ladies singing in harmony – GIT (formerly), the Junes, The Nymphs, the Rebelles, Aluka, Ginger and Tonic to the extent that I get made fun of for seeing these bands in preference to the usual rock or pop. I did go on a Betty Hutton bender at one point and bought five albums and a songbook.

I saw this listed over in Adelaide for the Fringe and was sad that it did not make the Melbourne Comedy Festival even though I was broke at the time

The main tag of the show is they take songs written by men and expose how sexist they really are by having women singing them in a comedic way including pantomime at one point. There is a lot of rap and R&B featured and I did enjoy the Michael Jackson medley and the songs about horses.

The band is great also especially the drummer who really hammers it in some songs. That is quite a lot of songs to learn for the one show and the bass player and keyboardist also do well to keep up with the songs.

Each of the singers does have their own time to shine during the show and they each have their own comic persona that they play up during the songs. There is some brief audience interaction during one song, but I was ignored even though I sat up the front.

I was glad to be able to make it to this show and also to leave my camera at home for once, there are still some shows left of the run and I recommend going to this show with some friends if you would like a fun night out.