[2014006] Musical Skeletons in my Closet

[2014006] Musical Skeletons in my Closet [FringeTIX]

Alison Kimber & Emma Knights @ La Bohème

6:00pm, Thu 13 Feb 2014

Alison Kimber reckons there are some songs out there that we secretly love, but are ashamed to admit; the songs that have a cheesy sentimentality to them, or that we just love to dance to. And, as she takes to the stage to belt out a rendition of The Sound of Music, she introduces us to the song that inspired her interest in singing.

Accompanied by Emma Knights on piano, and with cheerful interstitial explanations between songs, Kimber then trotted out a series of her “embarrassing” favourites: from I Still Call Australia Home (inspired by an Australia Day spent in New York) through a collection of booming ballads and thence to two instances of Abba’s Dancing Queen (one in the encore), she justifies the significance of these songs to her.

Kimber’s voice remains strong and clean throughout, but perhaps a little lacking in emotion; luckily, the packed audience was more-than-willing to come along for the ride, enthusiastically singing along when asked. Knights (also musical director for the show) provided solid accompaniment, and there was even a smattering of roses from someone in the audience during the encore.

But here’s the thing: I love K-pop. Unreservedly, unabashedly, un-ironically. When Kimber was singing Duffy’s Mercy, a little voice inside my head was singing Girls’ Generation’s Dancing Queen – in Korean. And I realise that, as a bloke in his mid-forties, that is something that would normally be kept in the closet. So, whilst Kimber trotted out some nice songs, I wasn’t really impressed by her admissions: there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about here. These songs were populist crowd-pleasers in their day, and they’re populist crowd-pleasers now.

But that takes nothing away from the performance here: Kimber and Knights delivered an enjoyable set of songs that had the audience smiling – if not cackling – in glee.

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