A unique rendition of Down Under, as recorded by the South Australian Primary Schools’ Band, was a perfect way to introduce Colin Hay’s new show, Waiting for my Real Life, to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The show is a demonstration of vocal individuality and songwriting mastery, and a comedic autobiographical journey.
Marking the 47th anniversary of his immigration to Australia (to the day!), Colin Hay proved that, despite wrist arthritis and ongoing years, he is still one of the foremost Australian musical talents. The combination of guitar and vocals is all that is needed for an engaging musical soirée. Hay’s distinct voice, textured with a coarse purity, and his songwriting prowess, happily combine to provide the perfect device in which to explore Colin Hay’s fascinating life.
The prolific storyteller guides the audience through his immigration, success as front-man of Men at Work, and through to his comparative obscurity. Punctuated with hilarious anecdotes and musical items, the composition of the show is a success. All of the ‘expected numbers’: Down Under, Overkill, and Waiting for my Real Life to Begin, gained huge applause, and his lesser known songs were also something special.
Unfortunately, the sound mix was all wrong for the Dunstan Playhouse. The balance and mix was more appropriate for playing the Adelaide Oval, and the overwhelming wall of sound was, at times, offensive. The lighting design however was simple, but effective.
With an iconic voice, some iconic songs and a well-rounded ability to engage and relate to an audience, Colin Hay’s show, Waiting for my Real Life, is the real deal. An evening with Colin feels like a chat with an old friend: the 70 minutes fly by.