Tag: Eurovision

Review: Conchita Wurst & Trevor Ashley with Kate Miller-Heidke

Voices of Austria and Australia combine

By Owen James

Musical events where two great artists unite always make for an evening of enthralling entertainment. Last night however, Melbourne was treated to three world-class artists at Hamer Hall, and over two hours and through various musical styles, we were taken to music wonderland. The six standing ovations throughout the night are a testament to the magic of these renowned vocalists.

The audacious Trevor Ashley kicked off with classic tunes and brazen cabaret-style anecdotes of bad dates gone wrong, warming the audience up for a wild night of dauntless divas. Ashley channelled the great Shirley Bassey, gave a stirring rendition of the toe-tapping Peter Allen rousing anthem ‘Quiet Please, There’s A Lady On Stage’, and dazzled us with cabaret classic ‘The Man Who Got Away’. Ashley’s vocals especially impressed with Broadway classic ‘People’ from Funny Girl, receiving a deserving rousing ovation.

Eurovision legend Conchita Wurst delivered stunning anthem after anthem with her unmatched, heavenly soprano tones. This was Wurst’s first time performing here, and her warm and gracious personality has undoubtedly enamoured her first Melbournian audience. Performing recognisable hits including ‘Out Of Body Experience’ and infamous winning Eurovision ballad ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, Wurst also wowed with lesser-known tracks peppered throughout the evening. Ashley and Wurst also dedicated a substantial portion of the evening to a timely tribute to the music of James Bond, including Adele epic ‘Skyfall’, and piano-bar favourite ‘Goldfinger’.

Kate Miller-Heidke’s brief two-song stint in the second act stole the show for me. Miller-Heidke’s seamless blend of classical and contemporary vocal styles is mesmerising, showcased in both the finale from her 2016 Opera ‘The Rabbits’ and Eurovision ballad ‘Zero Gravity’ from 2019. She joined Ashley and Wurst for a gentle delivery of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ that made the perfect conclusion for the night.

Conductor Michael Tyack lead the magnificent 40-piece symphony orchestra who backed every piece with delicate nuance and soaring, rich explosions and crescendos. There’s no recorded alternative that that can match a stage full of live professional musicians in perfect synchronisation, and through every alternating musical style this set list demanded, this heavenly group were precise and moving.

Keep an eye out for the next live performance of any of these heart-warming artists.

conchitawurst.com
trevorashley.com.au
katemillerheidke.com

Photography courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne

The Butterfly Club Presents THE ROAD TO STOCKHOLM

Riotous funny Euro-revision

By Narelle Wood

It is on my bucket list to go to Eurovision just once in my life. Until that happens, I’m very much content to see satirised cabaret versions, especially if they are the quality of The Road to Stockholm.

The Road to Stockholm.jpg

This show has all the drama, glitz and glamour that Eurovision is known for, with some added bonuses such as some international intrigue, and some subtle, at least in comparison to the dance moves, political and social commentary. Boris (Matthew Hadgraft) is a Russian singer, recently separated from his very popular boy-band and hell-bent on becoming an international superstar. Lenka (Jessica Papst) is a Ukrainian YouTube star with a passion for Roxette, and Boris. Boris is so naïve, trusting and overconfident that it’s an endearing recipe for disaster. And Lenka’s desperation for everyone to like her makes her the perfect target for heartbreak. With the help of Boris’s manager, her hairdresser and Lenka’s best friend, this unlikely duo are set to become the first ever bi-country entrants into Eurovision.

There is so much to love about this show. The soundtrack is tragically fantastic with a number of Roxette songs, and featuring the likes of Madonna, Gina G, and a number of originals all sung with ‘authentic’ Russian and Ukrainian accents. Behind all the over choreographed and over danced dance moves, is a spy backstory and a disgruntled child performer out for revenge by taking advantage of Russian/Ukranian relationships, Russian prejudices and Eurovision fans. The result is a high body count and a Eurovision farce. The high drama works and both Hadgraft and Papst are brilliant. The humour is outrageous and self-deprecating and it’s full of great one-liners that are laugh-out-loud funny. While it is based on Eurovision, it doesn’t rely on it so you don’t need to be au fait with Eurovision to find this absurd storyline amusing. That being said, if you were playing the Eurovision drinking game during the show, you’d be very close to having your stomach pumped; the only things missing were wind machines and fire-works.

The Road to Stockholm is a genuinely good time; I laughed the whole way through. Whether you’re a Eurovision neophyte or dedicated fan, or even if you’re interested in what a sassy Ukrainian accent might sound like, this is definitely worth checking out. 

Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne

Season: Until 11th December 7pm, Friday 6pm

Tickets: Full $32| Conc $28

Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com/show/the-road-to-stockholm

REVIEW: Daniel Kilby is EUROTRASHED

One man’s trash is Eurovision treasure

By Narelle Wood

Eurotrashed: Europe’s Living a Celebration for this year’s Midsumma Festival provides a great opportunity for both Eurovision tragics and newbies to experience first hand Europe’s own version of a tacky television talent show.

Eurotrashed

The format of Eurotashed follows closely that of the real Eurovision contest: several countries, several songs and usually several artists. However, in this one-man show it was Daniel Kilby’s role to perform the full gamut of genres that these countries offer; everything from ballads to pop to swing, and something from San Marino that has strong potential of turning up on K-Pop.

Kilby’s great trashy performance provided some iconic Eurovision touches and therefore opportunities to take a shot, because Eurotrashed is not just about singing: it’s also about drinking. Amongst my favourite moments were Kilby’s all-white outfit (drink), the creepy over emoting (drink) and the overly enthusiastic French translation (drink – this isn’t strictly in the drinking game rule book, but it should be). I couldn’t help but wonder whether there needed to be a little bit more trash in the Eurotrashed repertoire. For instance there were no costume reveals or wind machines (or cheap pedestal fans) and there was only some subtle sparkle found on Kilby’s glittery converse shoes.

The lack of over-the-top trash did provide a stripped-back Eurovision experience that highlighted Kilby’s ability to sing and dance: talents that are actually optional in the Eurovision contest itself. So with a strong vocal performance and no strange staging effects for distraction, I found myself tapping my foot to the sweet German sound of swing, wishing for a glow-stick to sway during the Estonian power ballad Kuula, and being strangely entranced by Kilby’s convincing rendition of “I Feed You My Love”.

It isn’t exactly clear whether Eurotrashed is targeted at the Eurovision neophyte or die-hard fan, but either way the opportunity to participate in the voting process at the end definitely rounds out the Eurovision experience. I am though a little upset that my favourite song, “Waterline” from the hyped-up-on-red-cordial-Bros-look-alike-Irish-twins Jedward, did not win.

Eurotrashed is a little show, with huge heart and even bigger potential, which left a smile on my face and catchy song lyrics in my head.

Dates: 29 Jan – 2 Feb
Thu – Sat 7pm
Wed & Sun 6pm

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne

Bookings: http://www.thebutterflyclub.com/shows