Gluttony – Empire Theatre, Fri 1 Mar.
Way down the far end of Gluttony lies the Empire Theatre. A small crowd waited in the thankfully air conditioned venue for a real treat. Justin Clausen and Jamie Burgess are simply a great double act. Professing their love for pop divas from an early age they trotted out their favourites from Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Olivia NJ, Whitney Houston, Tina Arena et al and were superb.
For contestants on The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and the like – listen to Justin Clausen to hear how you belt out a song with passion and power while still respecting the melody – he has a wonderful voice. And he reaches that place where the melody is fuelled with real emotion and had me close to tears more than once.
And behind him, super competent on piano, Jamie Burgess provided deceptively complex harmonies that added another delicious vocal layer. As well, Jamie taunted and teased his partner with some good-natured bitching, and kept him from straying too far down the X-rated road.
They obviously have a great affection for each other, and their on stage banter was humorous and well timed. Stories from their own lives lent an air of honesty that was refreshing and sometimes deeply moving.
This is an unusual show. Clausen and Burgess are great musical talents, but it is their ability and willingness to share who they are in a winning mix of personal and professional that sets them apart from other similar acts. Great music, great showmanship and despite making fun of themselves and their divas, an obvious love for their craft and the songs they sing. I loved it.
(This review also published on The Clothesline.)