I love Grant Buse. I first stumbled upon him in January of 2016 when he was performing another one of his shows The Late Night Sexy Show. I then dragged my friends to it another two times during the year and it was an absolute talking point. If you are unfamiliar with his work I recommend YouTube-ing his song Hypocrite. I then found out he was performing a brand-new show called The Birds and the Beats in May of last year and took myself along to that also. I remember leaving that show and thinking that it needed tightening and a bit more polish and thinking that I would like to see it again in a couple of years when he has had a chance to let it settle. It’s now been 16 months since I saw it last. It has changed a little bit (or I don’t remember some parts from last time) but it still doesn’t feel as well connected as TLNSS.
The show opened with a skit that was more awkward than my first time and didn’t really hit the mark. Essentially the show is about sex; covering the do’s and don’ts, the different types and Buse’s encounters. Buse, who teaches children with autism by day, has a strong message and a natural charm and charisma to get that message across through song. An incredibly talented guitarist, Buse combines his skills with beat-boxing through a loop station and then performs a variety of songs that help get his message across.
The first half of the show was tough for Buse, he had a reasonably non-responsive audience in a show that relies heavily on audience participation, some tech issues with his loop pedal and it seemed the nerves were getting the better of him, an unusual thing to see in his work. During one of his songs about half-way through, his loop pedal stopped working and, after a quick apology, he rocked out the rest of his song on his guitar. It was that moment that he came into his own and the show started to come alive. When he started just playing and singing (which he is brilliant at) it seemed he relaxed as he wasn’t distracted by all the bells and whistles that he has included in the show.
The Birds and the Beats feels disjointed most of the time and lacks flow from one song to the other. My theatre buddy and I couldn’t help but feel that maybe the show is on too early and needs a later slot when a few people have had a few more drinks and loosened up a bit. The audience did warm to him but only in the dying minutes of the show. Buse, has some great material here and you are guaranteed many laughs throughout the show. I feel he needs to work out how to connect everything a lot better and trust that he can get his rather important message across through his playful songs rather than getting a little too preachy toward the end. That being said, it’s definitely worth a look and Buse is a name to keep your eye out for.