The Bertie Beatle Show
Rohan Harry and Upyabumproductions @ Worldsend Hotel (Beer Garden)
11:00pm, Sat 5 Mar 2011
“…a confessional night of singing, dancing, poetry and cheap jokes,” said the Guide.
“SOLD,” said I.
I’d completely forgotten that Soundwave was on this evening, and Hindley Street was throbbing with a sea of black t-shirts and hoarse yelling as I dodged my way into the Worldsend. Jenny is at the door dressed as a fairy, handing out Spider-Man showbags (glow-sticks and poppers and Bertie Beetles!) in exchange for the $2 entry fee ($1.95 for concession).
First to appear on-stage was a top-hatted guitarist; then came a gorilla, who perched behind the drums. Finally came Bertie Beatle himself: a pretty good facsimile of the beetle on the chocolate wrapper many were scoffing. And before we knew it, the trio had launched into a cover of A Hard Day’s Night, drums a-thumping, jangly guitar chords, and Bertie “singing”.
The trio were energetic and certainly into the music, and there was something about their stage presence that just screamed fun. Maybe it was Bertie’s extra arms, prosthetic attachments loosely attached to his torso. One of his extra hands fell off during the performance, resulting in one particularly jovial crowd member next to the stage waving it for the rest of the gig.
I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t noticed the spelling of “Beatle” in the show’s title, and it never crossed my mind that the band may simply be doing a bunch of Beatles covers. In fact, the penny didn’t drop until around three songs in – Love Me Do, I reckon – and it resulted in one of those eye-opening how-could-I-have-been-so-stupid oh-that’s-the-joke moments. Whilst I’d been having fun before, after the realisation I was grinning like a loon.
There were a couple of (very) short songs about insects thrown in, but Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Imagine provided a mighty singalong finish. Despite not catching the early joke, Bertie Beatle provided heaps of fun and lots of jangly energy.