I think it was the poet, Ezra Pound, who once claimed scientists were the only real people of action in the modern world, noting that humanity, by the middle of last century had discovered everything it possibly could in our external world and therefore, in his application of logic, only had our internal worlds, the realm of the scientists, left to explore and conquer.
Pound, with a lack of future prescience, obviously did not foresee that confessional cabaret artists would, one day, join with the scientific community and also undertake revelatory exploratory internal journeys.
Amy Bodossian’s new show, Don’t Worry, I’ve Got It Covered, whilst on one level simply a vehicle which allows her to sing a selection of songs that have been meaningful to her at various moments in her life, is so much more than this. It is an intimate and revealing study of one woman – a self-confessed obsessive-compulsive woman with a host of neuroses at that – who undertakes one such internal exploration, an emotional and, at times, an unabashedly sexual one, and presents herself to her audience wide open for us all to see.
Bodossian was raw and honest in her linking narratives detailing her pursuit of heart ease, and sexual fulfilment, taking us from a life-changing night at Prince’s last Melbourne solo concert a year ago, through to her present state of self-acceptance.
The song selection is diverse and provides a fascinating soundtrack to her account of her odyssey, and not all of the songs suit her vocal range or style, although all were, in various ways, relevant to the overarching narrative thread.
At times, Bodossian was thrown by sounds emanating from the restaurant and wine bar above, with the unwanted saxophone strains from afar leeching into her own performance. But the occasional faltering in her delivery that this caused actually, perversely, enhanced the impression of a woman looking for more control of her feelings and situation.
Musically, the sparse solo guitar and piano accompaniment provided my Patrick Wilson was excellent and songs such as Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U, The Divinyl’s I Touch Myself, Talking Heads’ Lady Don’t Mind and Tim Buckley’s Song To the Siren, and plaintive versions of the Irish folk song Cockles & Mussels and Roxy Music’s More Than This, all had moments where Bodossian found the right mix of power and emotion to underscore her personal story.
A flawed, but ultimately engrossing, performance full of passion and poetry.
Rating: 3 stars
Amy Bodossian is performing Don’t Worry I’ve Got It Covered at Henrietta’s, 29 Chesser Street, Adelaide from February 28 through to March 4 as part of the Adelaide Fringe.