Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for January, 2011

Sydney Festival – Paul Kelly A – Z night 2

Posted by redkoireviews on 24/01/2011

I’ve come to like Paul Kelly fairly recently, but after seeing him once live at a free gig in the Sydney Rocks area bluekoi and I kept him on our mental list of performers to come back to. Since then I’ve become very fond of ‘How to make Gravy’ and ‘Careless’ to name a couple. So last year bluekoi got me tickets to see him perform on of his series in the ‘A to Z ‘ series. The concept is simple; Paul performs 100 of his songs from A to Z over four nights. This means every night you get a sample from across his career and styles, some hits and hidden treasure. So while I thrilled to hear some of my favorites I also got to hear some wonderful tunes for the first time.

The series is something more than just a song list. He’s re-arranged many of the songs that where originally performed and recorded with a full band into pieces that me solo, performed with his nephew Dan Kelly and occasionally with a clarinet. That makes the set more intimate, tending to make the quiet ballads even more personal and emotionally engaging, and morphing some of the energetic numbers into something more reflective. Very occasionally I was missing the punch of drums or the power in a bass, but mostly I was captivated by the man and his voice.

I hope I get old like Paul has; with dignity and a life pickled with people and poetry.

I didn’t even get through intermission before buying the CD set and book. I’m now enjoying both.

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Posted in 5 Stars, Festivals, Music, Reviews | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Sydney Festival – My bicycle loves you

Posted by redkoireviews on 17/01/2011

This latest physical theatre piece by ‘Legs on the wall‘ draws inspiration from early 20th century Australian vaudeville, with archival footage of the Corrick family projected throughout the show. The troupe are acrobatic, but it’s not a circus act stuffed to overfull with physical stunts. The show is dramatic, but doesn’t follow a traditional plot progression that moves neatly from beginning, middle and end. It makes full use of audio and visual technology, but not in a ‘wow, 3D!’ kind of way. So it’s hard to define and that’s exactly what a great sydney festival show should be like.

The band provides a live accompaniment to the stage and the performance is all the better for it, reminding me of the pianist in movie cinemas that would accompany silent movies and a musical interlude during intermission. Some parts of the show did seem to drag on a little but mostly it had me captured. The characters build through the show as you find out their quirks and oddities, and my favorite was the you man whose energy, anger and frustration in the scene with the horns really moved me.

My Rating 3.5 stars

Second opinion? try stagenoise

Posted in 3 Stars, Festivals, Reviews, Theatre | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

New Years Eve mountain bike riding the Oaks firetrial

Posted by redkoireviews on 01/01/2011

The same friend who too me rock climbing in the blue mountains before Christmas mentioned she and some friends where planning on riding the Oaks fire trail and I put my hand up to come along. The ride starts at Woodford and ends at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains of NSW, so I could get my bike on the train – no cars required :-). It’s a 30km ride and there is a lot of downhill – just of 1000m vertically. However there’s also around 500m in the other direction – up – so hills where not unfamiliar.

Most of the track is easy to ride fire trail, some of which is steep but not insanely so. At the end there is about 7km of single track -which is mountain bike lingo for narrow bush track you can ride on. This has a lot more in it for the adrenalin glands – you can see why so many riders prefer it. Most of it was ridable for a newbie like me, but some I took at look at and decided to just walk over. I was probably more cautious than usual, because starting a new year in hospital is not a good way to start. It took us about 3 hours to ride with some decent rest tops but most people could do it in 2.5 hour with no real worries.

You do need a mountain bike with nice knobby tires on and front suspension helps a lot, but all 6 of us where on hard tails, so no fancy rear suspension required. If you are some kind of fitness freak you can ride up and then come back down. Not my cup of tea!

My Rating: 4 stars

Posted in 4 Stars, Other, Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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