Right off the bat, let me say that I have never seen any kind of burlesque. If you haven’t either, then Bertie Page Clinic is a gentle dip into that world. Think catchy, witty lyrics backed up by some very suggestive moves from the front lady, and you have the essence of Bertie Page Clinic. They kicked off the first of three events which form the Deadly Nightshade Cabaret at the Hideaway.
The band musically explored the highs of culture to the very low. The art of French fighting is a sublime topic next to the sadly accurate depiction of Australian bogan-ism in ‘Smoko.’ Whether singing or not, Bertie gets you thinking about the most mundane things, in the most flamboyant way too.
Complementing the eloquent wordplay was the band’s attire. Laced up shirts are probably not something to be worn by the remotely insecure. But the costuming was a beautiful touch for the set, and Bertie’s wardrobe seemed to be on constant rotation for whichever decade she deemed to be in the mood for. Not that those clothes stayed on all the time – but hey, this is burlesque after all!
Bertie herself was joined by dancers from Lady Marlene’s School of Arts, who brought an extra cabaret dimension into the minds (and possibly laps) of the comfortably seated attendees. It was a pleasure to see the rest of the band as part of the act too, and they looked comfortable with the improvised banter. The back-up vocals from guitarist John Meyer match Bertie’s operatic style in such a way that they could have pulled off some wonderful duets. I hope we get to see more of that fusion in future gigs. Bertie Page Clinic are great performers, and it was a pleasant surprise to really enjoy a performance outside my usual genres.
Bertie Page Clinic release their new album French Tickler in June.
Deadly Nightshade Cabaret continues on April 28th and May 5th, with performances from John Meyer and The RagTag Band respectively. There is some wonderful Brisbane talent to be seen, so I’d definitely recommend going along.