Marian Poole, Piano Teacher and Music Critic.

Michelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen at Glenroy 6 Oct 2008

A capacity house thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic lothario Michelangelo and his black, farcical, twisted and lugubrious band of gentlemens, Guido Libido on Piano Accordion, the Catalan Casanova on Violin, the Great Moldavio on Clarinet and Little Ivan on Double Bass. With tongues firmly in cheeks, this troupe of depraved misfits, each with their own story to tell crooned their way excellently through a lineup of sublimely ridiculous tales encompassing nearly all of those little misfortunes of life to the utter glee of their audience. This is cabaret in the best European sense, stylish, oh-so-serious and timed to perfection. The gentlemen, all with a Croatian Accent as their first language, cavorted through the audience dipping into pandora's box, straddling knees, carousing from the chair tops and crowing from the gods, with tones as hoarse as Tom Waits' and with a rich vibrato to rival Bryan Ferry's Roxy.

While all their numbers were good, special mention has to go their "Black Johnny Cash" still standing, not sitting after all these years, "It's an A Minor Day" where a touch of A major was quickly expunged, "Devil's Wedding" for its black magic, and the merry romp "A Formidable Marinade" - their hoped-for retirement-funding slow-burning hit where "sodomy is not just for animals" and "blood is redder than wine". "I wonder as I wander as I wonder" and "From here to there, and there to here" sent the posing poet on a fruitless path, while the professionalism of the Moldavian Taxidermist came to a predictably but delightfully sticky end.

This anthem to a grey Black Sea, made a carnival out of the cold war with verbal and visual wit, full of catchy tunes and deft musicianship, back lighting and a confusion of dry ice became a romp in the park not to be missed.