Strangely Flamboyant
1:30pm, Mon 9 Mar 2015
Strangely’s Roaring Accordion had been a very odd experience: a handful of spectators didn’t really help a show that seemed geared towards raucous audience participation. But Strangely himself had proven to be a lovely chap, and – in my own way – I wanted to support him where I could. Thus, I found myself in a surprisingly full Rastelli on a sticky holiday Monday afternoon, with a ragtag assortment of other punters… including a collection of clearly inebriated (but still happy) silver-topped women.
Strangely – tall and gruffly beardy – cuts an awkward contrast to the shorter, enthusiastically wide-eyed, and cuter Claire Healy, but they totally work as a duo. There’s a tangible comfort between the pair, and that extends out to the audience, as they made us feel completely at ease with their musical silliness and light-hearted banter. Their songs wallow in the absurd: Healy’s ukulele and Strangely’s accordion and foot bells are an odd basis for any musical number, but The Potato Song somehow tied it all together, and the few bits of audience participation were thoughtfully arranged.
Sure, there were a few problems with the show – Claire’s vocals were frequently drowned out, and the pissed silver-tops intruded a little too often in proceedings. But the pairing of Healy and Strangely handled it all with an easy, airy grace, leaving me with the feeling that they’d be the most easygoing party hosts ever. And the closer – a medley of Let It Go and Don’t Stop Believin’ – was indicative of the entire show: positive, gleeful, and silly.
Strangely Flamboyant proved to be a quirky, friendly, and super-pleasant bit of cabaret that worked well in a matinée timeslot. And, more importantly, it had two utterly nice people onstage that you just wanted to hang out with… and that’s kinda what this show felt like: the chillest kind of hang-time with some cool friends.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 9, 2015