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The Lowdown Hokum Orchestra & Burlesque Revue Bring A Saucy Raunch Of Blues And Burlesque To The Wonderland Spiegeltent In August

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The Lowdown Hokum OrchestraMelbourne’s arts scene will explode with the saucy, raunchy musically driven romp of a show that is theLowdown Hokum Orchestra and Burlesque Revue at the Wonderland Spiegeltent in August. The brain-child of revered blues genius Doc White, the 1920’s and 30’s inspired performance will feature some of the country’s finest artists in a hokum blues, jazz and sexy burlesque infusion set to wow audiences. The Lowdown Hokum Orchestra and Burlesque Revue is an eight-piece act made up of Doc (vocals, guitar and mandolin), Nichaud Fitzgibbon (vocals), Peter Howell (bass), Tony Martin (drums) and Aaron Searle (sax, clarinet and guitar). It also features three of Australia’s most talented and sassiest burlesque dancers in Miss Bettie Bombshell, Mimi Le Noire and Minnie Monroe.

Described by Doc as ‘more than a gig but less than a musical’, the idea behind the show was born from the proposition that many of the best live songs are simply snapshots of human experience. “Like any good novel or short story, a good song should have a beginning a middle and an end and say something that resonates,” Doc says. “With that in mind, I wondered if it were possible to construct a musical experience which used different songs by different writers in an idiom with which I was familiar to illustrate a longer narrative. The songs carry the show and the dialogue provides the general direction the story takes.”

The story line follows two people who meet as teenagers in school and form both a musical and personal connection that begins to deteriorate as they become successful. They lose contact, before a chance meeting 25 years later reunites the pair and they discover they still feel that initial chemistry and want to keep making music (together). The bump ‘n’ grind of the sexy burlesque performers Miss Bettie Bombshell, Mimi Le Noire and Minnie Monroe give an edginess to the show and enhances the emotional impact of each song that ties in perfectly with the theme.

Doc says the creative process of pulling together such a sense intoxicating musical extravaganza was a new experience in itself. “Although I have been driving it, a show of this nature is a pretty collaborative effort,” he says. “It also uses an art form - burlesque - with which I am completely unfamiliar. I have never been to a burlesque show, and this one may be the first I attend. But I have always been interested in dance and the way dancers use their bodies to illustrate a story. Some of the most powerful theatrical experiences I have witnessed have been dance. In this show, the dancers got to choose the song they wanted to perform and come up with their own interpretation.”

Nichaud Fitzgibbon, who features as one of the key ‘characters’ in the Revue, says she is excited to be part of the unique show. “I love collaborating and the idea of this show is fresh,” she says. “I have always loved colour and movement… I come from a family of entertainers and I adore performing on stages, theatres and especially circus tents! I love the song choices and have brought some of my own suggestions, which seemed to come together perfectly. Doc and I sound great together and I can’t wait to get this show on the road. It’s going to be fun for blues, country and swing fans everywhere.”

The cast of musicians and performers featured in the Lowdown Hokum Orchestra and Burlesque Revue is the crème de la crème for the genre, a prerequisite that was critical for Doc. Simply put -“great songs deserve great players,” he says. “Everyone in the band has a musical pedigree to die for and it shows when we start playing. Because the music is the main medium through which the story is told, it needs musicians who understand the vocabulary of this particular style and can add their particular style to the song. The songs were chosen on the basis of lyrical content, style and how much fun they are to play and sing. I first floated the idea of this show about 18 months ago and it has taken a while to come to fruition but it has been worth the wait.”

Besides the fact The Wonderland Spiegeltent is one the best venues in Melbourne - if not the country – punters are set for extra special treat with special guests joining Doc and the guys on stage throughout the program before it crescendos with a finale of epic proportions. “The venue itself is definitively highlight and is the perfect place to stage a show like this,” Doc says. “It has an old world charm with a hint of decadence and its location between an old fashioned fun park and the brand new Melbourne Wheel is in sync with new/old vision for the show.”

Tickets for the Lowdow Hokum Orchestra and Burlesque Revue are on sale now.

Saturday 16th August 2014 | 8pm
The Wonderland Spiegeltent, MELBOURNE VIC

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