The new show by Mark Jones and Geraldine Quinn, Songs From Under the Bed, is a splendid, skilfully performed showcase of Australian songs by the likes of Paul Kelly, Don Walker, Casey Bennetto, Clare Bowditch and Mick Thomas. A world premiere for the 2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival, it was staged in the Lamond Room of the stately South Melbourne Town Hall.
What a great, simple and yet adventurous idea, to bring together and present a rich harvest of recent song writing. You’re bound to hear some pieces for the first time, or old ones in a new way. Moods range from playful, amorous, witty, through to wistful and even morbid. Many equal, and sometimes surpass, the originals, and the versions by Quinn and Jones always shed new light on songs we thought we knew.
Highlights for me were Kelly’s I Was Hoping You’d Say That, Bennetto’s The Couple That Wouldn’t Stop and The Big Banana, Thomas’s Cave Clan, and Rogers’s Heavy Heart. The murderous numbers I could have done without, and some more straight out love songs would be nice, but I’m probably just a mushy old romantic. The voices are strong, clear and versatile, the guitar (Quinn) and piano (Jones) brilliantly adapted to each piece and one another. The musical tact and sympathy, both vocally and instrumentally, is terrific.
When this comes on again (and it will), book immediately.
2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival
Songs from Under the Bed
Venue: The Lamond Room, South Melbourne Town Hall
Dates/Times: 6.30pm, 22 – 24 July, 2011
Tickets: $35 / $32
Duration: 60 minutes approx