Tag: Suade

REVIEW: Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala 2015

Glorious beginnings for another promising festival

By Bradley Storer

This year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala, keeping with the festival theme of ‘Keeping it Fresh’, took place at St Kilda’s new Alex Theatre, with excerpts from fresh new festival acts from all over Australia.

Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Dolly Diamond provided a lovely opening to the show, passing through the audience offering roses while singing a charming medley of tunes from ‘Oliver!’, accompanied by Cameron Thomas, and introduced our host for the evening – musical theatre performer and former Australian Idol finalist Rob Mills. Mills, admitting it to be his first gig as an MC, was a charming and competent host throughout the evening, even having to strike the stage and bring out props with enthusiasm and energy.

Annie Lee shed her usual garb as the eldest of the acclaimed Kransky Sisters to deliver both a touch of glamour and gawky physical comedy to the little-known poetry of the Weimar era in excerpts from her show ‘Lighthouse Berlin’. The Strange Bedfellows, Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen, stormed the stage to deliver contemporary Weimar-style cabaret with jaw-dropping vocal power and charisma, traversing such territory as a German-language version of ‘Tainted Love’, a new number based around the misdeeds of Rolf Harris all the way to Amanda Palmer’s gutsy anthem for humanity ‘Sing’.

Winner of the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Competition, Noni McCallum, took to the stage next and proved beyond doubt the reason for her win – a ballsy belt with a dry, self-deprecating wit, McCullum narrated the humours of dating past age 30 before ending with the simultaneously hilariously and surprisingly touching ‘Ikea Song’. A capella groups Ginger and Tonic and Suade showcased their trademark exquisite harmonies combined with witty and risqué songwriting, providing viewpoints on the modern dating scene from both feminine and masculine perspectives. Closing the night were the Queens of the City, a drag group whose members entertained the audience with sassy banter, Cher-impersonation and stunning contemporary pop vocals.

The wide variety on show at the Gala aptly displays the variety and breadth of talent, both local and international, that Melbourne Cabaret Festival draws year after year and which bodes well for the festival’s future in years to come.

Date: June 18th, 2015
Venue: The Alex Theatre, 1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda


Good clean dirty a capella fun!

By Maxine Montgomery

On  Suade’s website, there are quotes from audience members who attended the boys’ 2010 Melbourne Cabaret Festival offering: ““My God, those guys can sing – but I’m glad I didn’t bring the kids” and “I nearly laughed my guts out.”

With those two quotes in my head, I went along to see For Adults Only expecting something akin to the musical version of ‘Men Behaving Badly’.

And the lads did not disappoint!

After dealing with an initial technical audio glitch with the right measure of professionalism and humour, the show began with some classic Stevie Wonder done a capella which got the crowd into the right mood for what would be a night of great singing and fabulous cheek.

I was surprised to find the opening number to be suitable for children – but all that was about to change. Perhaps it was designed to first introduce the uninitiated to the sound of a capella and then hit us with dirty stuff after a couple of numbers.

And, oh man, did it get dirty! That awkward moment with a new love when you’re so nervous you’re coming and going at the same time. The lengths to which you’d go to please your woman – “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that”. Or exploring the benefits of role play to spice up your relationship.  My personal favourite was Loz’s song of creative insults (his words, not mine). Along with many in the crowd, I found myself simultaneously screaming with both laughter and horror.

The lyrics, the choreography, the obscene hand gestures – Suade know how to have fun and take the audience with them every step of the way. It was delightful seeing the boys trying to crack up each other mid-song.

But more importantly – their singing most definitely has the “wow” factor. One can only begin to imagine the number of hours that go into creating the perfect balance and execution of just one song, let alone a whole program. The final ascending chord of the night had me thinking, “Hot, hot, HOT!” – the sound that the guys produce is polished, tight and more than a little bit sexy.

Suade are an a capella tour de force.

If you’re a fan of damn fine singing, a good clean bit of dirty fun and you are a self proclaimed filthy bastard (again, Loz’s words, not mine!), get along to one of the two remaining shows this weekend.

Suade presents For Adults Only at the 2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Sat/Sun July 23/24 @ 8pm

Lamond Room, South Melbourne Town Hall

Tickets $37/$34 @ www.melbournecabaret.com