Michelle “Baggas” Baginski @ The Tuxedo Cat
2:00pm-ish, Sun 13 Mar 2011
Hidden away in the Events section of the Guide was a tiny blurb: “5-10 minutes. Pay what you think your heart is worth.”
And there’s something so intrinsically sweet in those words that I can’t resist it. The fact that it’s a short show on my way elsewhere doesn’t hurt, either.
When I arrive there’s a familiar-looking chap with a bloody big DSLR wandering around the TuxCat bar; DeAnne Smith is pottering on her laptop. Baggas bids us a hello in her soft voice and invites us into the LoveFridge – a tiny room just off the main bar.
Seriously – it’s tiny. With four of us in there, I start wondering whether there’s enough oxygen for us to subsist the ten minutes of the show. Anxiety heightens in the dark – it’s really dark – as we sit there quietly. The noise of each others’ breathing is noticeable; the noise of my own breathing (and heartbeat) sounds deafening.
I hear Baggas gently picking up her guitar; in the darkness and tight space, the first chords fill the space with warmth, with electricity. A soft light comes on, highlighting a pickle. There’s a large polystyrene slice of toast. A short monologue about Women’s Special Health Bread. There’s a gorgeous song in Devour Me.
And then Baggas asks the question:
“What are you thinking?”
I’m taken aback. “Er… about the intimacy of this space,” I stumble.
“How pretty you are,” offers DeAnne.
“How my camera won’t autofocus,” said FamiliarCameraGuy.
It’s only after we leave that I realise that all those things were related. And it’s only as I stand around at the bus-stop, waiting to go to my next show, that it hits me: how special that little performance was. How sweet, how oddly romantic, how quietly beautiful it was. The only thing I could compare it to, emotionally, is The Smile Off Your Face – but in a muffled, joyous way.