Entertainment Hive 2019

Harry Shearer & Judith Owen in This Infernal Racket

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Dunstan Playhouse, June 16-17

Review by Honey B

Husband and wife performers Harry Shearer and Judith Owen’s musical bents are like night and day. So it was a treat to see these two polar opposites sharing the stage together. Owen explained that the pair share a “racket’’ in their heads and the music they create helps soothe the noise. Shearer’s satirical, confronting numbers force audience members to face the darker side of humanity from challenging political numbers to celebrity endorsements and paedophile priests. His songs are ridiculously catchy such as his Beach Boy parody confronting the US practice of torture, Waterboarding USA and Deaf Boys about the abuse of deaf children in priests care really did cross a line – with some patrons leaving the venue – but it is a song I will not forget. We should not forget the message – dark as it is. While the soulful singer/songwriter Owen balances out this darkness with her lyrical beauty and compassion. Stand-out compositions included the stirring Mystery and Train Out of Hollywood. The duo were backed by a tight band including pianist CJ Vanston, bass player Leland Sklar and percussionist Pedro Segundo.
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