Laurie Black might look like a space cadette – her bright green skin tones and black cat eyes contrast nicely with the glimmering silver bodysuit, platform shoes and sequinned cape – but this young musical talent, who drops scientific facts like the Kardashians drop brand names, is way too smart to be a truly dizzy space cadet.
Her show is part ode to the moon, part cry to escape and part journey of acceptance.
It is delivered in fine musical form, via a catalogue of covers and some interesting originals, performed with a strong, mellifluous voice and confident electronic keyboard skills. The covers include customised versions of Bowie classics, Radiohead and others, and the reworked lyrics offer a commentary on environmental issues, exclusionist politics and feminist tropes.
Damn men placing all the flags on the moon get several mentions.
Her plan to escape earth’s oppressive society for solitude on the moon follows a dream-like, trippy journey that gets a bit loose at times but is, after all, only a vehicle for the music, so no great shakes; despite working a tiny room in the Butterfly Club that seats only 15-20 people, it’s a 10pm show and the small crowd are pumped and ready to go with the flow.
But the greatest loss is missing the opportunity to carry the audience along for the ride – instead she’s rather too adept at cutting them off, either with jarring breaks between songs or through extending her anger at the world to the audience, which gets a bit overworked and becomes a tad tedious.
She has great allure, and uses it well, but occasionally fails to maintain the show’s momentum.
Black has a huge talent that she isn’t yet fully exploiting but her moment and medium will come and in the meantime hers is a name to watch.
The Butterfly Club presents
by Laurie Black
Venue: The Butterfly Club | 5 Carson Place, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 5 – 11 April 2019
Tickets: $30 – $34