Everything That I Can Think Of | Harry James Angus

Everything That I Can Think Of | Harry James AngusHarry James Angus. Photo - Lia Gery

Big hair and an easy manner, an out of tune guitar and a microphone that “dictates his posture”. This is Harry James Angus, in his show Everything That I Can Think Of. Except he doesn’t tell of everything he can think of. As he says, that was WAY too much to fit into one hour. Instead he tells of gorillas, cricketers, pig bones and teenage love, and time and time again he finds in these the magic that everyone else seems to have forgotten or perhaps never found.

Angus is best known as trumpet player and one of the lead vocalists in The Cat Empire but any preconceived ideas as to what his own show will bring should be left at home. Despite his shy demeanour, Angus is charming and while his audience is completely at ease with him, the themes in his songs allow no room for the blasé.

His use of the guitar is brilliant but what is most intriguing is his song writing. Within his songs there is a curious juxtaposition between the hilarity of the situations he conjures up and the beauty or heartache within them. His view of the world is a cheeky one, quite naughty in fact, but it is not these views that he chooses to highlight. The song titled The Batsman is, he jokes, an Aussie classic; the batsman in the song with all his antics has more than a few passing similarities to a particularly famous Australian cricketer. But the line he chooses to repeat is “his pale blue eyes” and it is this that tells so many stories and creates so much feeling. Forget the hype. The batsman started off as a boy in the country with just a stick in the dust and he is still that boy.

Without the support of a band, Angus’ voice does at times seem strained. However, once he gets past the few technical difficulties early on in the show he soon warms up. Interestingly it is not his folk style of songs which best display the breadth of his voice but rather, Bring The Rain, a song with a Middle-Eastern feel and one powerful message.

Very few of the songs in Everything That I Can Think Of have a happy ending but every one of them has the ability to stir the imagination and the soul. This is a performance to be listened to, not watched. And it has to be said that this is somewhat lucky considering the less than great vantage points from the seats in the chosen venue of The Spiegeltent.

At the end of one particular song the guitar and the singing stops but for a moment there is no applause. For what seems like a very longtime, the audience sits. They are thinking, absorbing. There is nothing and everything left to say.


Melbourne International Arts Festival presents
Everything That I Can Think Of
Harry James Angus

Venue: The Spiegeltent, the Arts Centre, Forecourt
When: Fri 24 & Sat 25 Oct at 7pm
Duration: 1hr no interval
Prices: Full $30 / Groups (8+) $27 / Conc $22.50 / MF-Y $25
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 136 166 / www.melbournefestival.com.au

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