IT'S MY RIGHT TO BE WRONG
FRIDAY 13 MARCH,
The Higher Ground Theatre on Light Square (in the centre of Adelaide) is a great, intimate venue for this pan-historical, cross-cultural, knock-your-socks-off cabaret show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Take along your Significant Other, but be sure to buy all the drinks lest they be waylaid by the sugar-sweet bar staff, and make sure at least one of you has the morning off work because this show is all about love and it’s sure to put you in the mood for romance. Tom Jones, eat your heart out. If you thought the Fat Man of Love was Barry White, think again because front man Harry Van Venetie is the guy for the job. Special nod to the spectacular Miss April (April Berry) who belts out an absolute pearler of a second number, Bec JM who sultries up the stage in classic femme fatale style about halfway through, the Brass Monkeys on trumpets, Dan Burt on the timeless (and my personal fave) accordion and of course composer and saxophonist extraordinaire, Terry Jones, under whose watchful eye the whole evening unfolds. On first walking into the dim, red-lit cabaret space I wasn’t sure whether we were in Weimar Berlin or turn-of-the- century Montmartre. The opening passionate debate – with heart-string tugging accordion accompaniment – between pimpish, plush-leopard clad Harry van Venetie, aka the ‘Fat Man of Love’ and his French paramour, actor Maria Scicchitano quickly cleared that up. I could almost taste the absinthe, and I probably could have given the prompt, discreet table service – that is, if I hadn’t had a review to write later. Although we began in Paris, a fitting location for a brief, bittersweet meditation on the evils, nay, the thrills of love, we soon moved to the wrong side of the US tracks with some gutsy, bluesy reminiscing on the delights of youthful romance, from thence to that first slow dance and ensuing heartbreak amid the underground speakeasies of the twenties and thirties. In between there was some dark, Nick Cave-esque Bible thumping, a little bit of country, a hint of swing and a whole lot of old-style jazz grooves. Terry Jones had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his intoxicating tunes and scorching turns on the sax, while Marlborough- throated Harry Van Venetie has just the right amount of hard bitten, world weary ennui to match the seedy jazz sounds of some of the early numbers, with enough charm to soften up the sweet, tender dance grooves before hitting us with something not unlike 70s funk. His sandpaper vocals underscored the beautiful vintage style of Terry Jones’ compositions; a special treat being a deeply-felt, sax-heavy instrumental ode to a loved one. All in all we really enjoyed ‘Love Is ..’. The only thing we were disappointed with was that the show ran so fast; neither of us could believe it had been an hour long. We had a warm fuzzy feeling when we came out, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of grit for those twice shy and despite a blistering encore we were left wanting more. Part philosophy, part dedication to that most blissful and painful of emotional states, yet entirely enjoyable, Love Is whatever you want it to be, and this time, it’s one hell of a cabaret.
Presented by The TJ Collective
Presented by The TJ Collective
Found at………….. offthemoney.blogspot.com
Adelaide’s own Terry Jones carries on the tradition of many famous crooners on his latest release, It’s My Right To Be Wrong, under the moniker of The TJ Collective. The Collective is formed by a number of well-known and applied South Australian musicians, all supremely disciplined in the style of music that Jones produces. This is made even more enhanced by the fact that these songs are all written by Jones, yet are almost wholly played by the Collective, aside from Jones himself appearing on saxophone throughout the album.
The album itself is a trip through memory lane, covering styles that range from soul and funk to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. There is even time for some serious scatting work on Soul Provider, another sign of the smooth songwriting that makes this album a success. Possibly Jones’ greatest asset is his ability to cover such a wide range of genres without losing the sound of the collective altogether. April Berry’s vocal performance Once In A Lifetime is simply outstanding, and is something that needs to be heard to be completely appreciated. Two of the more interesting tracks come later in the album in Paris 1967 and Cleopatra. The latter combines slower, marimba rhythms with minimal instrumentation and backing atmospherics, while the former, probably the album’s greatest moment, is a real hark back to, well, 1967 Paris. The horns on this track are simply sublime, as a French narrative floats along effortlessly across a myriad of light rhythms that really encapsulate a classic jazz sound. To be completely honest, it is a track that would come along once in a lifetime, and outdoes many acts in a similar vein attempting these older styles of music in recent years.If you want to hear jazz/swing/soul/funk/rock/everything played by professional musicians, be sure to grab a copy of It’s My Right To Be Wrong. It is ultimately the professionalism in the production and musicianship that makes this a fun, entertaining album to listen to. Terry is sure to be spruiking these new tracks at a venue near you in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep your eye out for a gig or two and get along to see these great musicians show their wares in the flesh.