CABARET FESTIVAL: Virginia Gay – Songs to Self-Destruct to – 5K

SMA Kryztoff banner May 13 100dpi2013 Cab LogoThough many people will know Virginia Gay from her appearances in Aussie television favourites All Saints and Winners and Losers, it may come as a surprise to those who have not seen her live before that she is also a powerhouse cabaret performer. Her new show explores the experience of insomnia and the places in your mind that it takes you while the hours slip away. Anyone who has experienced insomnia will know the bizarre mix of desperation and resignation that it can bring, and the way that it can lead to the sense that you’re somewhat losing your mind.

Gay has put together an eclectic and enjoyable mix of songs – from The Backstreet Boys through to The White Stripes, Kanye West through to Casey Chambers – which manage to bring this feeling to the stage. In addition to some wonderfully original covers of iconic songs – think a calypso-esque version of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You – she has a flare for mash-ups, weaving together songs that you wouldn’t normally think would complement each other, into an hilarious yet musically satisfying mix. Assisting her in this are the brilliant Benny Cann on drums, Gavin Pierce on bass and Musical Director Simon Ross on Piano.

Through all of the numbers, Gay’s voice soars out over the crowd. It is powerful and enveloping, with a syrupy quality and clarity that never falters. Her stage presence is mesmerising and her energy, at the same time coupled with the suggestion of more than a hint of the exhaustion brought about by lack of sleep, is infectious.

This is a superb vehicle for Gay to show off her considerable musical and comedic talent and she provided a highly enjoyable hour of entertainment.

Kryztoff Rating: 5K

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