An extended version of The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me kicked of the evening and it was plain to see the audience were there for the music – the 9.45pm start time did nothing to deter them. There were hoots and hollers from the crowd and every solo drew enthusiastic applause. Cleverly crafted local references were worked into the number.
Grammy award winning Lucky Oceans rounded up a team of extraordinarily talented musicians for a raucous evening of barrel house blues. Spirit of the Fringe winner Jessie Gordon with Paul Gioia and Bill Lawrie punched out numbers such as Was I Drunk? The punch line being “Was he handsome and did Momma give me hell!”
True to blues and barrel house tradition there were lots of feature solos worked into the numbers: Oceans on pedal steel guitar, electric guitar, banjo and accordion, Gioia on keyboards together with Lawrie on guitar and vocals and the inimitable Jessie Gordon the powerhouse songstress at the helm of every song.
By the time we got You Call That a Buddy? The crowd were chorusing “Dirty, dirty dog” with enthusiasm. A Bessie Smith number Sugar in my Bowl was milked for every ounce of double entendre by Gordon.
Lawrie had a funny little intro to the bluesy She’s Gone. Chocolate Jesus featured Oceans on banjo and Lawrie on blistering harmonica.
Shine on Me was a soulful blues lament. Up above My Head had us singing the chorus with gusto and clapping along on time.
The polished performance closed with a fabulous rendition of the classic St James Infirmary. Gordon is possessed of a wonderful voice, the strength and vocal length of which she is capable is remarkable.
This was a superb show. The performers set the mood from the start. We were in a gin joint somewhere and we were there for a good time.
Lucky Oceans & Jessie Gordon present
The Piano has Been Drinking
Venue: De Parel Spiegeltent at The Woodside Pleasure Garden | Russell Square, James St, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 31 January – 4 February 2019