One man, a microphone and so much wonderful noise: that’s the most apt way to describe Michael Winslow’s live show.
The small, but loyal crowd buzzed with excitement as they filed upstairs into the H Lounge (29 July) to witness the human, sound-effects machine in action.
Local comedian Kat Davidson provided a short warm-up set, including the obligatory harassing of late comers, leaving the audience primed for Michael’s vocal gymnastics. From there it was an intimate and laidback affair as Michael took us on a strange and merry jaunt through the whacky world of sound he inhabits.
Anyone who’s seen a ‘Police Academy’ film knows Michael’s schtick as the ‘man of 10,000 sound effects’ all to well, and yet it is still something to marvel at as he flawlessly deploys his arsenal of noises and voices.
He performed his impersonations of Jimi Hendrix as well as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ alongside a live guitarist, who also accompanied him for ‘Breathe’ by Pink Floyd and ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince, in tribute to the late artist.
Between scenes, Michael peppered the show with impromptu dialogue and sound effects, such as imitating the footsteps of audience members foolish or naïve enough to leave their seat during a Michael Winslow show. And here’s a free tip: don’t go to the toilet during his show, you will regret it. More than a few people found that out the hard way in the close confines of the H Lounge.
Even though Michael was contending with a fair amount of feedback from the house PA, mixing for someone who is beatboxing one moment and then screeching like Jimmy Page’s guitar the next, must be like trying to juggle sand in a hurricane. He left us on a high with his own mix of ‘Over The Rainbow’ and ‘What A Wonderful World’ sung like Louis Armstrong himself.
Combine his talent with his cheeky, almost childlike stage presence and it is little wonder Michael Winslow is such a beloved performer who continues to delight fans both young and old. Michael's Australian tour continues throughout August. Click here for the live dates.