Pony Takes A Powder | Mojo JujuTis’ the season for mulled wine, woolens and cabaret. No, not Christmas in June, it’s all to be found in droves at Adelaide’s gloriously festooned fezzy center. Last night the Cabaret Festival opened and Mojo Juju, the poster girl and Melbournian chanteuse presented the world premiere of her new show, Pony Take a Powder.  With her perpetually well-suited, twinkle-eyed swagger, Mojo Juju appeared in the Space Theatre sans her previous Snake Oil Merchants accomplices, but with a repertoire of songs from her brand spanking self-titled album.

Mojo’s latest offering is a departure from the punkish bohemian essence of her Snake Oil past. This new ensemble is a slicker, classier façade backed by a smoking four piece of seriously jazzy gents. Through narratives and spoken word prologues, the tracks are woven together with scenes of 1940’s speakeasies, coated in gin-fuelled romance and smoky blues. If the music was a film it would be noir, and Mojo would be the gun slinging anti-hero with a fedora pulled down to cover illicit tattoos and a playful sneer.

The band were on fire throughout the show, never before has a double bass player invoked such erotic musings with his instrument. At the top of their game, these fellas come together looking and sounding every bit the suave late night gang from a ye-olde New Orleans alleyway.

Mojo Juju’s vocals drip off the stage and the Friday night wine and woolens set lapped up every note. Despite the through line and stories, the songs did start to melt into one another, each following the last with an indifferent shift of mood. There were hints that different theatrical devices would come into action from a telephone and desk on stage, but these didn’t play out to any scenes of pertinence. Her stage presence is rich in charisma and strong enough to carry through, she’s like the handsome stranger in the corner of the bar, who fondles a cigar and makes eyes at you, but you can never quite figure her out.

After the Cabaret Festival, Mojo Juju’s self proclaimed ‘Last Aussie Tour 2013” is coming up in July, after which she takes off to Europe for some hot and heavy one on one time with the road. Catch her before 9 June, and visit the Festival’s Winter Garden while you’re there. A cosy gem at the Festival Center’s courtyard where I guarantee you’ll come for the cabaret, but stay even later for the mulled wine.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Pony Takes A Powder
Mojo Juju

Venue: Space Theatre
Dates: June 7 – 9, 2013
Tickets: $44.90 – $19.95
Bookings: bass.net.au

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