Selections from LCUK and Death to Your Dreams (FringeTIX – sadly, one show only)
Sean M. Whelan and The Mime Set @ Jade Monkey
6:15pm, Sat 17 Mar 2007
I’ve never been to Jade Monkey before; it feels very much a club for the artistic – gritty tabletops, a mishmash of seating options, dim lighting assisted by high skylights, rough walls and ceilings, lime-green and black interior… far from the clean and polished and designer-cajoled feel of recent discoveries such as (say) the Duke of York. Very friendly atmosphere, though; and the beer garden is really… odd. Great view of the back of Toys’R’Us.
As the lengthy title somewhat suggests, this performance was a collection of snippets from two previous Melbourne Fringe shows, LCUK and Death to Your Dreams. The Mime Set were fronted by Sean M. Whelan, who recited fragments of his writings very much in the manner of a spoken-word performance, with a few concessions made to the timing of delivery. The first track is exactly what I was expecting; nice tense musical noodlings, gentle words evoking familiar emotions over the top… very pleasant.
Throughout, members of The Mime Set scoot between instruments with gay abandon; Seven Dead Astronauts, Seven New Stars sees Sam and one of the other guys (sorry!) spinning whirly noisemakers as appropriate, whilst the drummer handles keys (and a glass of white wine). Hey, The Mime Set are different.
But… but but but. The second track, LCUK, had me wide-eyed and agog. Wonderful music, gorgeous text. Later, Paper Skin is at once brooding and punchy, like the best bits of Radiohead and The Birthday Party all blended into one, reminding me of Nicole Blackman‘s stint with The Golden Palominos.
And the finale, Other People’s Houses… jesus. Stunning, one of those utterly brilliant Rock moments. All rock and power and weight and majesty. And it’s a song/poem about being a cat. Or something. I was too busy being gobsmacked by ROCK. It’s safe to say that was one of the moments that makes me glad to chase the Fringe, glad to be ALIVE.
I had the chance to squeeze in another event straight after this – I opted not to. I wanted to savour – no, revel in – the feeling this show left me with.