Martin Martini: Songs From New Beginnings…
Beat magazine, Review > Stage
One of the many wonderful things about cabaret festival is that it showcases some the best of our local talent. One of the fantastic things about Butterfly Club is that it cocoons them and their projects as they synthesise and find their way.
Songs From New Beginnings Come From Some Other Songs Beginnings End showcased Martini’s new works on stage for the first time. Perhaps most recently known to Melbourne audiences as front man of Martin Martini and the Bone Palace Orchestra, a large and lively band described as playing funk rock ‘n’ roll ballads, Martini returns to the stage solo at first, and then accompanied by a guitarist.
The songs too have a simplicity, which in some cases seems complete and in others leaves space for further accompaniment or development. As with any showcase of new songs there are stand-outs: a song about a nine-year-old Martini writing to Harrison Ford asking for Indiana Jones’ hat and whip, a anti-consumerist/waste ballad with the chorus “I’ve got the ‘what did you buy today?’ blues” and a moving piece about being woebegone are just a few of these.
Martini is willing to let songs have their time on stage to see how they will be received, and his audience certainly is more than wiling to accommodate this. Winning pieces are met with whoops and whistles and even the weaker pieces receive ample applause.
For all of Martini’s musical talents, of which there are many, what stands out in this collection, perhaps against a pared-back musical arrangement, is his talent as an observer and storyteller. Keeping chatter to a minimum to get through as many songs as possible he introduces one fledgling piece (“My aunty was here last night and she hated this song,”) before launching into a song about an old fashioned Japanese Ghost story of varying indecencies. On a smaller stage, with fewer distractions, Martini’s presence is also different; heavier, humbler and beautiful.
By Lou Pardi