Lizzie Violet hosted anther sensation Cabaret Noir at Q Space. A perfect high-octane Mother(F**ker)s Day with stomping sets by Cathy, Vanessa & Kirsten. I made sure I got into the first set of open stagers before the features pulverized the audience. I’ve heard them all before but am always happy to hear them again & again.
With open stagers from Chicago, audience from Australia, Noir has in three short months made its presence felt. The show kicked off with a rocking short set by Nelson Sobral. His Missile song had me thinking of Delta Bravo. I did three of the April pieces, including Golden Days (because it is about my mother).
First feature Vanessa McGowan did an amazing, emotionally raw set. She digs deep into her personal history without flinching. Her direct delivery was pitch-perfect in frankness, never strident and peppered with songs sung with a tenderness one wasn’t expecting. In her piece ‘handicapped ain’t what it used to be’ we learn what happens when ‘you’re not disabled enough’. Lines like ‘we bury our deepest desires’ ‘the art of unnoticing’ related to us on a heart to heart level.
Next up was Kirsten Sandwich – their pitch-perfect (most of the time) acapella harmonies give me goosebumps. With material that ranged from Elizabethan madrigals to Brecht/Weill to the Rheostatics to Kate Bush they left us wanting more.
Final feature Cathy Petch, give us another musical set – accompanied herself on saw for a couple of pieces & Kirsten Sandwich on one. This was one the best sets I’ve heard from her – maybe because the new pieces still have an emotional rawness that hasn’t been woven in by slam memorization. Raunchy, tender, funny and human. ‘your mouth full of shy,’ ‘run from pieces of wall he hit instead of me.’ Loved her Love Poem to Chewbacca – ‘after you there is never enough chest hair.’ I certainly relate to that 🙂