The impromptu 'band' of mates comprises Jessica Papst (Only The Good Die Young, Carole King Songbook Tour), Scott Mackenzie (The Full Monty, High Fidelity) and musical director Caleb Garfinkel (The Big Hoo Haa, Spring Awakening).
Fuelled by numerous rounds of beer, the stories between the three become wilder, the admissions more startling. And, in between, the audience is treated to the best of Oz rock ballads, performed individually and collectively by the three musicians. From Missy Higgins to Cold Chisel, expect the biggest and best of home hits.
The music component of this show was well produced and cleverly constructed, and I enjoyed the playlist. Each musician had the opportunity to demonstrate their talent to the audience, and it was clear that each had strong musical ability. Collectively though, I felt that at times, the harmonies didn't quite mesh. I wonder if it was just opening night nerves.
To me, the show worked best in the segments where there was closer on-stage interaction between the three, such as occurred between Papst and Mackenzie when the latter returned to the stage after heading off for 'a smoke'. The concept of a bar scene didn't quite ring true, with the three players carefully situated at stage left, stage right and centre stage with a good metre or more between them. I would love to have seen them bunched closer together, so it better represented a bar scene, and encouraged greater cohesion. A token 'bar' of some sort - even a plank on two boxes - would also help set the scene.
Scott and Jessica - the show worked best when there was on-stage interaction
Overall, though, Great Southern Band is a fun, upbeat, positive show that left us smiling and humming tunes long after the curtain fell. The show has a lot of promise and I expect it will gain traction as the players feel more settled.
Great Southern Band: Do You Remember When plays at 7.00pm each night until Sunday 3rd December, at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne.
The running time is one hour.
Tickets are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to buy your tickets online, or call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107.
The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of Weekend Notes.