Describe Good Friday. A day traditionally steeped in fasting, penance & reverence.
Now, describe a Really Really Good Friday. One spent at The State Theatre in the company of Julia, Brian & The RocKwiz Team and jam packed with a variety of music, comedy, chat & possibly even Brian “in the foyer handing out Hot Cross Buns at the start of the night.”
Ooh, yes please. Don’t mind if I do.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the utterly charming Brian Nankervis, to discuss what was the motivation behind this live show and what Easter tomfoolery’s in-store.
The RocKwiz live tours have become established events in themselves and for the last three Easters, they’ve been a regular fixture at Bryon Bay Bluesfest. This year, they decided to have a break and do a show in Melbourne.
But why the Arts Centre?
In December 2015, members of the RocKwiz Orchestra together with “a group of our nation’s finest musos and Brian as MC, paid homage to the iconic US rock outfit, The Band, and their legendary farewell concert, The Last Waltz, with The Last Waltz Revisited.” It was a huge success and the Arts Centre was keen to collaborate again. As Brian adds, “we’re very excited to be here again; in this beautiful theatre, that we all just feel in love with.”
The idea for a Good Friday themed show came about when members of the RocKwiz ‘family’ (they’re a close knit group) were sitting around talking about their different experiences of the day growing up.
For those belonging to fairly conservative households, like Brian’s in North Balywn, “Good Friday meant going to church in the morning, then having a quiet day at home and never being allowed to have friends over. I always remember there was this sense of sadness pervading, melancholy.” This was in stark contrast to those whose parents were hippies, though still nonetheless frustrating, as nothing was open. So they put their collective heads together, developed the concept and decided to run with it.
Even more delicious than the prospect of buns in the foyer, is that the live show gives both performers and producers, the licence to take risks – be unpredictable and reinvigorate the format. The evening will “roughly follow the structure of a RocKwiz show but without audience contestants, and lots of songs, lots more chatting with the guests (interview style) and each guest, will do a song, probably two, with all performers taking part in the quiz.”
And in an unprecedented move, the line-up of musicians has been announced, with producers willing to experiment with that as well; featuring the likes of Tim Rogers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Daryl Braithwaite, Deborah Conway and Vika and Linda Bull, alongside comedians, Rich Hall and Kitty Flanagan. Apparently, Rich Hall plays the piano so they’re hoping to get him involved musically, and Kitty, more than likely, on backing vocals and dance moves with Julia.
As Brian says, “look this is quite unusual for us” but he assures me, “it’s really just an excuse to have a party” and invite 2,000 of their closest friends.
RocKwizzing on Good Friday – amen to that.
RocKwiz's Really Really Good Friday plays at The Arts Centre Melbourne – Friday 25 March @ 8pm. More details at www.artscentremelbourne.com.au