Fresh from the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Butterfly Club hosts Roulston & Young’s comedic hour of Songs for Lovers (and Other Idiots). Roulston and Young perform a collection of upbeat numbers and power ballads. Their songs are intermingled with fun-loving banter and a smidgen of humorous audience participation.
The first song from duo Michael Roulston and Sarah-Louise Young is hilarious and their clever lyrics are engaging. The lighthearted formula continues during the hour as Roulston’s smooth, baritone voice and accomplished articulation of the piano, compliments Young’s enormous soprano vocal range. They pay homage to their past and present loves and tiptoe over regretful reminders of awkward dalliances.
The English pair’s decade of partnership is apparent with their impeccable comedic timing between songs and succinct harmonies. The twosome explains the success of such a longstanding partnership in their song, Perfect Match. The jovial lyrics discuss their differences and the catch; they’re batting for different teams.
Roulston and Young’s leave no ‘lost-love’ stone unturned. The dynamics in Young’s voice and her animated actions accentuate her date with a younger man in the song; I’ve got a Younger Lover. The lights are dimmed and the minuscule stage is transformed for the beginning of the power ballad, The Letter. The lengthy and engrossing number unpacks the emotions of adultery and divorce. Roulston’s playing builds into a crescendo and the emotion is clearly evident on Young’s face as she sings about her freedom, depression, heartbreak, and procrastination to post the divorce letter.
The adept songwriters have crafted catchy lyrics for an audience sing-along with their song, Please don’t hand me your baby. The song deliberates an embarrassing suggestion from proud parents and the audience is asked to sing the hilarious chorus. No spoiler here, simply expect to laugh out aloud. The Walk of Shame alludes to the awkwardness of one-night-stands. The quirky and ragtime Comfy, celebrates coupledom. They sing of the wonderful complacency of snuggling on the sofa and ordering in Chinese food and eating Tim Tams whilst watching reality television.
Every song contains ‘feel good’ snippets. Young is powerful in full voice during the ballads and appears to be the central figure of the team, until Roulston’s admission in, I Play Around. Their stand-up routine embedded in this song is outstanding.
Songs for Lovers (and Other Idiots) is reminiscent of a short musical, not a mere cabaret, which could explain the distracting drop in pace during some songs. As in all relationships, sometimes they come on too fast, linger for all eternity or fade away. For lovers and singles, take an hour to laugh at mistakes and rejoice.