Jo Stone Concert (FringeTIX – one night only)
Jo Stone @ Holden Street Theatres (The Studio)
11:00pm, Fri 23 Mar 2007
I’m currently sitting in the Holden Street Theatres’ bar waiting for the doors to open. There seems to be two groups of people here; everyone seems to know someone from one of these groups. Except me, I stick out like a sore thumb. I don’t know who Jo Stone is; after all, I’m only here because I felt like supporting Holden Street, and because it wasn’t much of a commute after Red Sky. And the Guide blurb…
An informal solo gig, influenced by Cocorosie, World Music and Motorhead, mixing samples from a computer with acoustic guitar, vocals and bad saxaphone. Original classics like Glenn, covers from Morrisey, Debbie Gibson, Joss Stone and Aerosmith, using the saxophone and Opera to ‘break-it-down’. Not to be missed.
…didn’t sound altogether rubbish.
Still – I’m walking into this one pretty much blind. And, as I mentioned, I’m feeling pretty alone, though I’ve just noticed another chap sitting by his lonesome. After a bit of head scratching, I recognise him as one of the What I Heard About Iraq ensemble; best not chat to him, then, lest conversation turn to that.
The doors open, and the two (large) groups of people – plus me – wander into The Studio.
Jo Stone arrives atop a motorbike, befitting her posters. She’s a looker – she possesses that lovely Mary-Louise Parker thin-nosed dark-hair mystique that I find quite alluring. She quickly explains the premise for this performance – whilst in Berlin, her name was frequently being mistaken for Joss Stone, so she decided to exploit that fact. And so she performed a number of songs (including a Joss Stone cover), both singing, playing guitar and – very occasionally – sax. And dear god, her sax was bad.
But here’s the thing – the whole performance was played like one big joke. Obviously everyone present (besides me) was already “in” on the joke, because there was much laughing and hooting and hollering at the bits that – were this a ‘serious’ performance – would be utterly cringeworthy. The horrible sax, the spectacularly bad dancing by the (non-Paulo Castro) beardy bloke, the painful DVD backing movies. But the joke was delivered with such confidence, such pizzazz, such surety, that it was easy for the unaware (ie, me) to get caught up in the humour, too.
So, despite the fact that I was definitely on the outside looking in here, this was twelve bucks well spent. A very odd experience, though; and I’m not sure whether I want to be seen to condone the subsidy of other people’s in-jokes. But this one just worked.