The 27 Club, is it’s very own hipster club in 2015. Zack Anthony Curran, Andrew Kroenert and Keane Fletcher’s harmonies were Gregorian chanting in nature! The resonance and acoustics of The Butterfly Club complimented their adaptation of the artists songs.
Three clean cut looking hipsters rock out songs from Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and croon Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin ballads. A poetry reading from Jim Morrison’s repertoire defined this diverse production. This performance was pure vinyl and cd’s not a playlist!
A collection of artists and the tragic end of their lives at age 27. This trio open this dark subject on a dark stage, silhouetted by the green light of the overhead exit sign. A suitable tangible metaphor.
This scene is intensified with news report readings of the recent death of Amy Winehouse. With further news commentary we are informed of the other previous deaths of the members in the exclusive club.
The players report the stories, in the accent of the artist’s county of origin. This really adds a historical tone to the events and places you in the element of the devastation. They report each death separately then repeatedly talk over each other. Ending with a chant, “I didn’t want to be in the 27 club”. They truly create a sensation of hearing this news for the very first time.
Instead of trying to impersonate, the players gave an integral interpretation of the music and lyrics peppered with spicy news reports and interviews from the artists’. They have recognised the difficulty of successfully impersonating the enigmatic Jim Morrison and more recently, Amy Winehouse. They overcome these obstacles by intertwining the interviews and lyrics of their songs. Keane flawlessly sings “Back to black”. He commits to the performance and his falsetto would be revered by any mezzo-soprano.
Skilled, passionate performers, gave themselves to the performance and the audience. An informative interview of a meeting between Joplin and Morrison, conveniently led to an exquisite rendition of Joplin’s, “Piece of my heart”. The harmonies and utilisation of such a tiny stage by Curran, Fletcher and Kroenert, brought this huge track to life.
We were encapsulated by the somber mood of Zack’s praying gestures around the microphone on its stand, as he read a report or sang the lyrics. Andrew married his baritone vocals with any instrument he played. Whether rocking out a Hendrix tune on electric guitar or softly strumming heart reaching chords on his acoustic guitar.
The three players made good use the space to keep us interested. The audience were entertained by their version of a stage dive into the mosh pit.
Curran and Fletcher performed readings of interviews, surprisingly from the rear of the venue, amongst the audience. Curran realistically reads Cobain’s suicide note on crumpled paper, they then walk amongst us, to return to the stage. Bringing a human touch to the audience with the final reasoning for Cobain’s actions.
The lighting fades to black appropriately with the last chorus in the song, “Back to black”. The lights reminiscence of the faded lights of lives ended too soon. Alternatively, flashing reds and a disco ball complete the psychedelic era of The Doors, Joplin and Hendrix.
Sure, a few lines went amiss. A deeper breath could’ve been taken before performing the next news report. All is quickly forgiven, the performer had just belted out another ballad. It demonstrated how committed they were to each song and gave every breath to their performance.
The reprise of talking over each other in the news reports, wasn’t necessary. For more effect it would’ve been good to hear each piece distinctively the second time around.
When you see this play, if you’re observant; you will spot the common thread via some props, that has something to do with the way all the artists died.
The players fulfilled their promise in an intimate setting. It deserves a bigger crowd and bigger venue. Lost in the times, the performance finished too quickly, I wanted more songs. Hopefully with development this production has scope to grow. The lingering voices of the players will send you to sieve through your vinyl and cd collection, surf the net and compile a playlist