Monday, November 10, 2008

Music, Music, Music. Music.

After playing a really soul affirming set at Soft Belly last week, I'm playing once again with Ms White as The Baby Drivers this Friday at CERES Community Environment Park in East Brunswick. The Weekend People (featuring the disgustingly talented Nicholas Roy) are also playing. We'd so very much love to share some of our new tunes with you, so those without plans - you now have exciting ones with much promise. Hope to see you there from around 7 (we're on at 9pm). Costs $8/$5 at CERES cnr Stewart & Roberts St, East brunswick.

I'm also hoping to get back onto some theatre thoughts and reviews in the near future, now that I have finally finished work on my own projects (for the time being).

Let's talk soon, shall we?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Babies at the Bender

Hi drivers everywhere,
thanks to everyone who came to our rather noisy debut at the Bender Bar in May.
This coming Thursday we're doing it all again this time with the rather brilliant and bluesy STEPH BRETT supporting!

This could be one of our last full shows til August as Monica is travelling to the US and Rhys is doing some theatre in Brisbane so come on in and share a tune or two to get you through the working week.

You can listening to some of our new recordings now online at and

Stay tuned for some Rhys solo shows in August, plus a fundraiser appearance in July...

Rhys & Monica

"...I was never, never, never enough but I can try, try, to toughen up..."

Thursday. June 26
Bender Bar, 635 High St, Thornbury

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Henson Circus

Visit Theatre Notes for Alison Croggon's wonderful open letter in support of Bill Henson - complete with a number of comments posted (many of which make my skin crawl).

It's a bit scary out there at times...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

REVIEW: The Feigned Inconstancy

This article was originally published here on Vibewire.

Pierre Marivaux’s The Feigned Inconstancy is one of two 18th century comedies being presented by the VCA’s graduating company of actors for 2008. Like its accompanying piece in the series – Goldoni’s The FanThe Feigned Inconstancy is a farce centred around vain but star-crossed lovers and their attempts to secure one another’s affections. Director David Wicks has produced a solid work, making the most of a well-paced script that still manages to make us laugh knowingly about the fickle nature of love and relationships.

The title of the piece refers to the plan that the Marquise (Zahra Newman) and Dorante (Thomas Larkin) concoct to reclaim their wayward lovers the Captain (Josh Price) and the Countess (Julia Grace). By pretending to have fallen for each other, they hope to fill the true objects of their desire with jealousy and thus be reunited with them. But the path of love is never so simple, of course. While the characters are presented as almost cartoonish, the validity and depth of their emotions are never in question. This grounding in reality makes us care about these ludicrous characters, as we can recognise our own insecurities, personal failings and foolish romanticism exposed before our eyes. It keeps this 200 year-old comedy relevant and accessible for modern theatre-goers.

The cast seems to revel in the extreme silliness of the production. The show opens with a musical flourish, with the characters engaging in a series of exaggerated tableaux that foreshadow the developments to come. They jump up and down at various intervals, as if performing a demanding calisthenics routine. Similar choreographed vignettes take place between each of the acts, emphasising the intricate dance Marivaux’s characters perform as they swap allegiances and put elaborate schemes into practice. This over-the-top presentation is ever-present and works exceedingly well – the actors’ stylised, heightened performances feed their characters’ postulating and grand-standing. Music is also used cheekily to announce the arrival of characters to a scene, or emphasise visual gags.

The play is presented as it might have been to an unruly mob two centuries ago. Innuendos are punctuated with knowing winks to the audience, the language of the modern audience is sometimes used to contrast against the pomposity of these characters – a master gives his servant an encouraging thumbs up, the captain is unable to restrain himself from shouting “fuck” in a moment of exasperation. The actors play up to the audience’s laughter and sighs of sympathy - particularly the luckless Frontin, who stole many a scene with his shameless sulking thanks largely to an imaginative portrayal by Nick Cook.

While The Feigned Inconsistency does not quite reach its potential, it is a genuinely entertaining production with fine performances and enough ideas to give it ongoing momentum and charm.

VCA Drama Company 2008

Dates: Tuesday 20 May – Wednesday 28 May 2008
Times: Mon-Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm
Address: Performance Studio One, VCA Drama, 28 Dodds Street Southbank
Prices: $20 / $12
Bookings: / 9685 9225

Monday, May 19, 2008

REVIEW: Paradise City

This article was originally published here on Vibewire.

The interplay between people and the urban environment has been the focus of Arts House’s excellent Urbanology series. Branch Nebula’s Paradise City is a fitting end to the series, exploring the physical relationship between six artists and the unforgiving concrete landscape of the city with breathtaking grace. A dancer, a BMX rider, a skater, a break-dancer, an acrobat and a “fallen diva” all collide (literally) with one another in this dream-like fusion of movement styles.

The opening sequences have a ritualistic air. The performers cautiously feel out the possibilities of the space: skateboarder Petera Hona slowly works his board’s wheels over the stark floor of the set; dancer Kathryn Puie lets her body slide down one of the two ramps. Singer Inga Liljeström’s haunting, abstract compositions seem to call the performers to the sacred site. The piece slowly builds momentum – the performers chase each other in a circle – forming a centrifuge that illustrates the power they possess as well as the force that draws them to the space.

The performers ‘dance’ with one another, seeking out each other’s skills and styles. Acrobat Alexandra Harrison flirts cheekily with biker Simon O’Brien, repeatedly trying to bring him unstuck with her own athletic tricks. In another instance, Harrison and Puie attempt to mimic break-dancer Anthony Lawang’s moves, but the physicality of their preferred art forms still permeates their imitation. In many ways, each of the performers become part of the landscape themselves – sometimes obstacles to avoid, sometimes objects to play with. At times the group will gang up on one performer – Anthony Lawang is buried during a dance routine by roadblocks hurled at him by the five other artists.

Paradise City is a mesmerising examination of identity. It suggests that to interact with another being you must interact also with their culture, their self-expression. In one pivotal sequence, acrobat Harrison skilfully finesses the evening dress and high heels off the diva and attempts to mimic her gestures. While Liljeström sings “I’m held by a thread that starts at my heart”, Harrison stumbles around in her shoes – unable to recapture her own fluent style, let alone become the diva she desires to be. The performers continue to define themselves the more they fight against, instigate, terminate, play with, antagonise, and mimic one another. The music soundtrack also has separate, distinct styles and personalities – from electronica to classical – each time changing the way we view the action on stage.

Creators Lee Wilson & Mirabelle Wouters have put together a group of extremely talented individuals from disparate movement forms to create a work that toys with the boundaries between them. The clarity of the images is such that some motifs are repeated that do not need to be reinforced, with the momentum suffering somewhat as a result. While at times the pacing is a little too gradual, when all the elements are at work it is a riveting experience. As with the rest of the Urbanology series, Paradise City asserts that the stark and lifeless façades of the city streets is no match for the creative souls moving through them.

Branch Nebula

Dates: Wednesday 14 May – Saturday 17 May 2008
Times: 7:30pm Wed-Sat; 7:30pm & 2pm Sat
Theatre, Address: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
Prices: $25 / $18
Bookings: 03 9639 0096 /

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

MyMusic at MySpace

For those of you who have heard my music and those who haven't, I've recently put up three new recordings at I'd love to hear any comments or thoughts you may have. The songs are SMS Me which I wrote late last year, No Difference from 2006 and Overeducated Underachiever written in early '07.

I'm playing a Baby Drivers gig on Friday 23rd (see below) with hopefully some solo dates to follow in June. Keep checking in for more recordings this year - there should be a couple of Baby Driver tracks at in the next month.

You can sign up for the mailing list for my solo shows as well as Baby Driver shows by emailing

Monday, May 12, 2008

Music in May from me and Monica...

Hi everyone,
Well we've been pretty busy doing anything BUT performing music lately but the BABY DRIVERS will be playing again on FRIDAY MAY 23 from 9:30pm at the awesome BENDER BAR (635 High St, Thornbury).

Also appearing are the laid back jazz and funk outfit SUNDAY BEST, plus a special set by our friend Ben Mitchell - plus it's FREE ENTRY.

It's going to be a great night of music at a cool venue so please pencil us into your diaries!

Stay tuned for more dates in June. We have also been busy recording of late, so expect some great new recordings to appear soon on and

You can join us for updates and recordings by searching for the 'Baby Drivers' group on Facebook or subscribing to our mailing list by emailing

Cheers all,
Rhys & Monica