A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
It's Josh's prerogative to sing like Britney, or Mariah
Listening to the 1990s songs being performed by Josh RH Daveta in his show My Prerogative, currently playing at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne, I pondered why it was that I feel I skipped a musical decade. At the risk of showing my age, I think I jumped from the 80s straight through to the 21st century without touching down.
This is relevant only because it meant I was unfamiliar with a lot of Daveta's material. On the one hand, this might make me not the best person to be reviewing his show; on the other, it possibly means I can be more objective about the quality of Daveta's music, not being swept up in the inevitable sing-a-long that occurred amongst other parts of the audience more familiar with the material.
Josh Daveta is commanding in this one-man cabaret show
Brisbane based Daveta has some sound industry experience, having been a top 100 Australian Idol contestant in 2008. This paved his way into musical performances and stage musicals and he hasn't looked back. He launched his successful debut one-man show Teenage Dreams in 2015 and has continued this winning formula in My Prerogative.
As it turned out, I did know a few of the songs in the show; Oasis' Wonderwall, Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know, Cher's Believe, and could even sing along to the I'll Be There For You theme from TV show Friends - along with the rest of the audience.
Josh demonstrates a rare vocal reach in this show
What I can tell you is that Daveta is commanding, his singing captivating, from the moment he hits the stage, belting out the eponymous My Prerogative of Britney Spears fame. Daveta has a BIG voice that he uses masterfully in this one hour show, demonstrating a range and capability that has the potential to take him a long way. Add to this a warm personality and the ability to readily engage with his audience, and you have yourself a thoroughly entertaining cabaret show.
It was a delight to listen to the versatility of Daveta's voice, from soaring falsetto to blazing ballads, even the odd 'duet' where he is singing both the male and female vocals in a song. Clever and original, heavy on the 'wow' factor, with just a dash of eccentricity thrown in; it's a compelling combination.
This recent clip of Daveta's work will give you an idea of his style:
While Daveta indisputably steals the show, I should mention that he is very capably accompanied by keyboard player and backing vocalist Stacey-Louise Camilleri, with some sweet vocal harmonies between the two.
Josh with backing vocalist/musician Stacey-Louise Camilleri
There are two pieces of constructive criticism I'd like to give about the show. The first is that, in my opinion, the performance would be even better if Daveta was completely familiar with the material, removing the need to refer to the sheet music on the stand. To do so breaks the continuity to some extent and the level of engagement with the audience. I appreciate there is a lot of material covered in the show, some of it with very complex lyrics, so it may be that I am expecting too much.
The second is - I don't get the grunge clothing. Why wear a torn jacket that is way too small and a multicoloured propellor cap? I found them distracting! I'm not saying wear a dinner suit, Josh, but just something that says you are confident of who you are and proud of your wonderful voice.
Please don't let these comments put you off seeing what is, overall, a delightful, feel-good, thoroughly enjoyable show.
My Prerogative is playing at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne, at 7pm each night until Sunday 4th June.
Tickets are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to buy tickets online, call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107, or buy them at the door (subject to availability).
The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of WeekendNotes.