FRINGE – The Belle-Phonics – Music – The Promethean 4K

The Brenton Foster Band opened the evening, setting the mood with some light, smooth jazzy pop. The four boys are all Jazz players and their music is quite technical, possibly too technical to be fully appreciated by the general populace. However the crowd gathered in the Promethean were delighted by every note, applauding several times a song. Each member, bar the drummer performed a solo during one of their many tracks and each one worked beautifully within the confines of the track.

A delightful hour and a half later the Bellephonics took the stage. Their first track was just instrumental, the band warmed the audience before the diva Ally White took the stage. When she did I was almost knocked over by the sheer power of her voice. Then there was Sam ‘magic fingers’ Leske on lead guitar, a master of technique. Jason McMahon, Natalie Ahrens and Eric Santucci were the horn’s section, a section which was utilized beautifully throughout the show while Liam Garcia-Hardman, Brett Williams and Holly Thomas kept the smooth beat, bass line and rhythm through the show. An outstanding performance, the most convincing reason to listen to Jazz I’ve heard in a long time.

Kryztoff Rating 4K

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FRINGE: Zack Adams – Comedy – Tuxedo Cat – 3K

It’s rare to find a show whose subject content is exactly what the promotional material says it is – a one-man musical comedy show about the trials and tribulations of love. But Love Songs for Future Girl fits exactly within that description – at least for the first part of the show.

Performed ably to a disappointingly small opening night crowd in the brilliantly derelict Tuxedo Cat venue, Zack Adams generally delighted as he led the audience to poke fun at his failures as a boyfriend and as an artist. Although I normally find self-effacing pity-comedy somewhat cringeworthy – I really don’t find it that entertaining to hear about how terrible someone’s childhood was or what a failure their career is – Zack managed to endear himself through the wry hilarity with which he described monumental heartbreak and then progressively detailed every other girl he’s ever had an interest in – from his primary school dancing partner to a mysterious girl with a predilection for dating ‘douchebags’ sitting in one of his shows.

Zack’s voice and playing was very good, and it was particularly entertaining for audience members in the same age group – late 20s – to revel and cringe at the popular music that defined our awkward teenage years in the 1990s (although older and younger audience members may just cringe) as well as Zack’s often touching and hilarious original pieces. Similarly, the concept of a show painstakingly detailing every failed fling and romance had a lot of potential as a sort of new age cabaret.

Unfortunately, much like Zack’s love-life, the show derailed a little after the halfway mark, with the jokes and songs which really had nothing to do with the overlying ‘plot’ thrown in and creating the impression that Zack was just trying very hard to be funny. This revealed the underlying problem with the performance – it just wasn’t as polished or considered as it could be.

Nonetheless, Love Songs for a Future Girl is what the Fringe should be all about – not necessarily the most polished performances, but young Australian talent plying their trade. And overall, Love Songs for Future Girl was a very enjoyable way to spend an hour.

Kryztoff Rating  3K

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FRINGE: Bygone Error – Cabaret – SA Folk Centre – 4.5K

One of the joys of the Fringe is the thrill of being taken to new worlds. Bygone Error’s Music Hall extravaganza at the SA Folk Centre could not be further from the pirates and fruitcakes at the Garden of Unearthly Delights, in content and crowd as well as locale.

Paul and Christian Reynolds know how to turn on a show, to get a crowd going 19th century style with good songs and guests, alliterations and innuendo, all at ‘enormous expense.’ Their patter is machine gun like in its delivery, they are consummate performers and the blend of young and old works a treat.

Their stars were also skilled at their trade, which all made for a rousing night of sing-a-long fun with Miss Ruby Fox the stand out. Young performers and those looking to ply a trade in burlesque can do much worse than coming along and observing how professionals do it. Older folk will revel in the much loved and at times bawdy ballads and younger patrons will richly benefit from being immersed in quality cabaret that is local and true to its roots. Oh, they also provide you with song sheets (and the chance to buy cake) so no one will feel at a loss.

We rated it 4Ks last year and see no reason to do differently this year, though some may question why not something a bit higher. Well damn it, we will go higher.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

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FRINGE: Eurodiva – Cabaret – Zoo – 4K

By Julia George

As this local Adelaide ‘diva’ takes the audience on her journey to 10 countries throughout Europe she serenades in more languages than you could poke a stick at, celebrating European Divas of the past century.

It was a nice show, but definitely one more suited to the older crowd as the Gen Ys will not know many of these European artists including Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Mina, Dalida, Ceca Svetlana, Laura Pausini, Gloria Lasso and Nana Mouskouri.

The best thing about this show is that it’s live, a theatrical cabaret spectacle with a 7-piece big band who pump out some beautiful tunes, kudos to them. There are 10 European languages used during the show (1 of which is English). For those who don’t speak all these languages there are subtitles! Music videos accompanying the show, designed to take the audience on a full audiovisual journey, yet it fails to do so and lacks sophistication.

The Italo-Australian posing as ‘Euro Diva’, Teresa De Gennaro, really is talented – she has an incredible voice that is able to transfer from language to language seamlessly. She is well travelled and has performed for many years as a cabaret artist, actress and improvisational comedian. Her story is weaved in throughout the show, which makes for a nice personal touch as she explains how she came about the ‘Euro Diva’ phenomena. There is a clear biased slant to her Italian traditions as she sings in more Italian than any other language throughout the show.

Overall Adelaide’s own Euro Dive has a strong ability to tell her story and interpret songs, thus developing an intimate relationship with an audience. It was a nice show, definitely recommended for the over 50s though, that is if you want to be able to get into it and sing along, but if you’re up for something different check it out!

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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RAW: Tim McMillan vs Yogi Glare – Worldsend – 3.5K

Tim McMillan, the master of ‘Goblincore’ –  prog metal played by skinny nerds – is back for his second Fringe at the Worldsend. Defining his show is not easy but it is nowhere as intimidating as his PR spin of ‘obnoxious mind-blowing musical comedy’ would suggest.

Tim on acoustic and side kick Brad Lewis on bass play a combination of self written and cover tunes engaging in instrument playing trickery, weird lyrics and a particularly dry delivery. In response to wondering what Oprah Winfrey in outer space would be like, the two of them finished up playing their instruments like conjoined Siamese twins. Somehow Stairway to Heaven got merged with Toto’s Africa and their manager explained what all this Yogi Glare nonsense was about in German. So, you see how hard reviewing this show is.

This is a different but not awkward performance, a new method to show off virtuosity and make bar room music even more enjoyable at the same time. Take them in.

Kryztoff Rating  3.5K

Fringe – Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem – Garden of Unearthly Delights

Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem – Garden of Unearthly Delights

Tommy Bradson, who with a great voice, a sharp wit and his good looks brings an entertaining, gritty and salty cabaret of a Pirate and Mermaid. Running at The Spare Room until March 13.

Bradson says that it is his take on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” but for adults, where Bradson plays both characters Patrick the Sailor/Pirate and Mischa the Mermaid with a soundtrack littered with expletives. The songs are well delivered by Bradson’s amazing voice accompanied by a cello and keyboard.

You are met by a grim looking pirate, Bradson, complete with wooden-leg and eye patch who delivers quite a few well rhymed rants. Of course in a small venue as The Spare Room the audience gets involved. Having a few sitting in the front row who are quite happy thanks to alcohol helps get the mood right. Yet it must be said that the talented Bradson delivers the show in an impeccable cabaret-esque way.

A great piece of Fringe cabaret, not for the faint hearted!     

Kryztoff Rating   4K

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So what actually got announced yesterday by the Government, SANFL and SACA? Answer, not very much. The whole thing was done in such a hurry that their papier mache model featured in the paper this morning did not have rooves on the eastern or western grandstands!

There remain no final or useful costings, no commitment to any sum from the AFL, no sign off by Adelaide City Council. Importantly, there are still no details on what rights SACA membership will carry in relation to watching AFL and what those costs will be. It has to be a matter of great concern that there now remains a prospect that the SACA members will not be told those details until after their historic vote, now scheduled for early May (date to be finalised.)

SACA President, Ian McLachlan is quoted in this morning’s press as saying the members voting down the proposal may not be the end of it. Well, Ian, I think you need to explain exactly what you mean by that. Does it mean you will move against the vote of your members?

McLachlan is also reported as saying that ‘all rights of current members will be preserved’. But how can that be so? If the SACA gives up rights to the Adelaide Oval for seven months, how can anyone say the rights of its members are the same? If the SACA becomes just an event manager if this passes (as control will be lost to the Stadium Management Authority), how can the SACA say members’ rights are unaffected.

Finally McLachlan states that the dual purpose stadium is required ‘if Adelaide [is] to stay relevant in the sporting world’. Well, that would be news to Tour Down Under people and followers (who in aggregate in one week exceed those that attend Port games in a year), Adelaide United, Olympic swimmer Hayden Stoeckel and the like.

The bottom line remains, what is in this for SACA members and cricket lovers generally? The answer still remains the same, either nothing or very little. Until that is answered in detail, that question remains and cricket lovers will increasingly view with scepticism the spin coming from both sides of the Torrens, west of King William Street.

To stay abreast of this Adelaide Oval debate, join our Facebook Group, South Australian Concerned About The Adelaide Oval Redevelopment at Sth Aust Concerned About The Adelaide Oval Redevelopment

FRINGE – Cabaret – The Spaces Between – Arcade Lane – 4K

What better venue to perform a show like ‘The Spaces Between’ than the gutted, cavernous space that was once the Regency Cinema? The scant lighting bounces off the walls to create creepy shadows and just the right atmosphere for this haunting cabaret.

Unfortunately, this space is not great when it comes to sound mixing; the amplified vocals echoed in the empty room, often making it difficult to understand the lyrics. This may be due to the set-up of having the audience sit where the screen once was while the performance takes place on the stepped platforms that used to house the cinema seats. While this looks great, it wreaks havoc with the acoustics. These problems were also compounded by a crackling speaker, jolting the audience from the beauty of the piece every few minutes.

This is really disappointing as the original songs are delivered with intense, raw feeling by performers Tom Dickins and Jen Kingwell. The few songs where they stepped away from the microphones showed the quality of their voices when they could be heard clearly. They share the lead vocals, each telling tales of the spaces in their lives and how they try to fill them. Their voices are individually appealing and gorgeous when combined. It’s also great to hear singers who don’t try to do away with their Aussie accents but rather allow them to add extra uniqueness to their sound.

This is potentially a five star show which is currently being held back by some disappointing sound issues. Hopefully these will get sorted out as the run progresses, but for now, go to the show for the emotional experience and buy one of their EPs to hear the music in its intended form.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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FRINGE – Comedy – Deanne Smith: About Freakin’ Time – Rhino Room – 4.5K

In a rare feat for a comedian, Deanne Smith delivers exactly what her Fringe advertising says she will. She does this in a friendly and engaging manner that makes her very easy to like.

This show is well paced and includes irreverent yet witty material. The songs, which Smith performs on an electric ukulele, are the highlight of the show; they combine the musical charm of the Juno soundtrack with quality comedic lyrics. In between, there is plenty of audience engagement and some very amusing observations. Just how do you tell the difference between God and Elton John? Admittedly, this is probably not the show for anyone religious who can’t take a little gentle ribbing.

Showing that she’s not afraid to step away from her scripted comedy, for six and a half minutes each night Smith invites suggestions from the audience of topics for discussion. This could go well or it could go horribly wrong. Her ability to make Charlie Sheen (why won’t he just go away?) and eye herpes (gross and creepy) entertaining, suggests that she’ll deal with whatever you throw at her with aplomb.

This comedy is well thought out and avoids the crudeness that many comedians feel necessary to inject into their shows; somehow she even makes her poo jokes intelligent. It is a consistently amusing and enjoyable offering.

Kryztoff Rating: 4.5K 

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FRINGE – Evelyn & Evelyn – Garden of Unearthly Delights 4K

Evelyn & Evelyn

Wednesday 2nd March 7pm, Garden of Unearthly Delights

I entered the show late and quickly grabbed a seat at the back of the theatre. The two sisters shyly took the stage, they seemed genuinely terrified of the crowd as they sat and prepared themselves for the first song. Palmer and Webley showcased not only their musical talent but also their acting abilities.

The sister’s first song explained the troubles and highlights of being conjoined twins. Until this point they had been completely silent and it was amazing to hear their voices mix together in a cocktail of sound. Webley and Palmer portray awkward shyness so brilliantly for two hardened performers who are so used to having a sizeable stage presence.

It was at this point that I regretted getting their late as a man in front of me moved his head and blocked my view. Now I don’t want to be unduly harsh Mr fifth from the left in the third row from the back, but how many times do you have to move your head? The seats are set up in such a way that you have a gap between the two people sitting in front of you with which to see.

The sisters then began to tell their story with a feature called “Puppetry of the Evelyn and Evelyn sisters” which was an excellent use of black comedy. I missed some of it due to some ridiculous head movements (seriously guy in front of me, just keep it still.)

As it turns out the sisters were raised with chickens, so their next song demonstrated the trauma of a feathered upbringing. The drum and piano accordion were utilised and the sisters moved and stood at the other end of the stage where I finally got a good look at them, the man’s head in front of me only covering stage right.

They played several more songs, including a western about threesomes, “If you think you’re seeing double, let me save you some trouble, this ain’t no two for one deal mister,” before amazing the crowd with their answering of audience member questions.

Any mistakes that were made just became part of the show, a brilliant format and one which allowed the artists to have a great deal of fun and flexibility during the performance. Their final number saw them back at the piano which for me meant staring at the back of Mr Green Sweaters luscious hairstyle, (who began talking during the show! How rude!)

As the sisters left the stage the crowd cheered for an encore, and it was received. A real crowd pleaser, an excellent combination of humour and music.

Kryztoff Rating 4K