Hailing from a town called Openmouth Holler and with a sister who works as an ‘intimacy facilitator’, country singer Tina C is all about proudly reclaiming her white trash status. If you’re into country music, she says, it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, brindle or anything else – you’re white trash. Celebrating the release of the next instalment of Tina C’s autobiography, Complete and Utter Country, her Summer Country show brings her special ever-so-nice-but-nasty persona back to Melbourne. To wit: ‘I’ve got a big show coming up in Sydney. This is my warm-up. I don’t even know where I am? Is it a town? It’s an area.’ She’s keeping things pretty for Jesus in this ho-down, where the audience will get to line-dance despite themselves.
A few songs got missed out on cos it looked like rain, it started to rain, then it looked like a storm was a brewing but it the weather was all just tease. Certainly the Summersalt Festival organisers have their weather contingency well in place – when the raindrops got heavy the audience got under the marquee on stage with Tina and had a much more personal experience than we would have otherwise. We were even provided with little brollies.
As ever, Tina C (actually Englishman Christopher Green) gave a fun show. Her wit has you giggling throughout and you get to sing along to country classics such as Stand by Your Man and Nine To Five as well as some not-so-country classics like Life on Mars and Dancing Queen. You also get to hear some wonderful Tina C originals like If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Weren’t You Dead When I Met You? The best way to describe Green’s humour is gentle but effective satire. He’s quick and misses no opportunity to have a dig at all- American values via a character who enthusiastically espouses them. It’s plumb crazy to kill people, the uber-confident Tina reckons, when they could all be shopping and boosting the economy. Tina was weaned on Ayn Rand and believes in Jesus and the American way. It’s a lot fun experiencing messages about conspicuous consumption and the dominance of North American culture fly home through the laughs.
Those of you who remember, from a couple of years back, her wonderfully articulate Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word show about race relations here in Australia, will be happy to know that a school tour of Australia is planned. Now ain’t that some real good news?
2015 SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival
Summer Country (And Some Ain’t!)
Venue: Dodds St Stage, Festival Hub
Dates: 7 – 8 Feb, 2015