Amiable and charmingly at ease, Ben Vanderwal introduced each number of this excellent one hour set. It was an informal cd launch for the group. His aim, he announced, was to make an album “that his Dad would have liked.” The band name was delightfully attributed to his father’s oft-quoted phrase was “No bodies perfect. My name is nobody.”
Thus set in a nicely sentimental mood Lucky Oceans led off into a haunting number of his own entitled Train Lullaby. His work on the pedal steel guitar creating a marvellous, twangy resonance.
Vanderwal announced the next number, his own creation, A Song to Parallel Parking, designed to soothe the soul; through the stress of the above-mentioned exercise. For my taste this composition was rather too busy and beat driven and my vehicle would have ended up more on the sidewalk than strictly necessary.
The amusingly titled The Saddest Purchase of a Young Man’s Life (walking into Harvey Norman’s Electrical Department to purchase an electric nose hair trimmer) heralded Vanderwal’s bluesy number. This is apparently part of a series themed on growing old which should resonate with a large part of the audience.
Wayfaring was Oceans’ embroidery on a theme “As old as the hills”, for which he brought out his slightly battered but exquisitely decorated electric guitar.
A loving tribute to Vanderwal’s oma (grandmother in Dutch) and her penchant for making thickly buttered cheese sandwiches featured melodic piano riffs from O’Halloran.
A Willie Nelson song, I’m Not Trying to Forget You Anymore brought a doleful reminiscence from Oceans about gigging with the said legend. It was uncanny how the rhythm of the chorus so matched the title of the song one could sing along with the words. A perfect recipe for country and western song writing I guess.
The crowd loved the beguiling introduction to the final number One Horse Town Roster. A story about a town with only one horse. Vanderwal; “It has a dour beginning because everybody thinks they are not getting a turn on the horse. So then they devise a roster. Everybody is happy and the bridge of the number takes a happy turn.”
Just like this number, the show was an intimate window on familial ties and life experiences.
My Name is Nobody are all fabulously talented and the show especially enjoyable because of their tangible chemistry.
2017 Perth International Jazz Festival
My Name is Nobody
Lucky Oceans, Tom O'Halloran and Ben Vanderwal
Venue: The Palace 108 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA
Date: 27 May 2017
Tickets: $40 – $45
My Name is Nobody
- Claire Condry