Bobby Fox and Michael Falzon will join forces to replicate the legendary collaboration of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello and perform their album 'Painted From Memory – The Music Of Bacharach And Costello'.
Accompanied by a nine-piece orchestra, Michael Falzon and Bobby Fox, along with special guest Luke Kennedy, will showcase the internationally adored music from the 1998 album 'Painted From Memory' in full. “I think that just for an album to be played from start to finish is just great. I think it's kind of refreshing,” says Bobby.
When 'Painted From Memory' was first released in 1998, Bobby was on a River Dancing tour in America and never heard word of the album. It wasn't until Michael approached him with the idea of doing this show together that he had the chance to discover it. “I had never heard of it until Michael put it forward to me. It was very, very, new to me and kind of cool that I got to discover it. I had known about Bacharach for a long time – I sang some of his work for auditions – and of course I knew of Elvis Costello but never knew this album.”
Michael and Bobby met a few years ago, but had never worked together until this production. “We knew each other, but we hadn't actually worked together. We did a workshop together and that's when [Michael] had the idea in mind and thought, 'I think this is the guy to do this with'.” Bobby has since become a fan of Costello's work while learning about and working on this show. “His technicality in writing, his use of language and his lyrics are just really, really, amazing. I didn't really know a huge amount about Elvis Costello or sung much of his work before then, but since then, I've become a fan.”
Both Michael and Bobby share the vocal role equally throughout the show. “We sort of share the load of the music, basically, and tell those very, sort-of, gut-wrenching and quite inspiring, very eloquent songs together... When we were putting it together we basically spoke about what songs we were drawn to and what we connected with more. For me, the song that really brought me to it was 'I Still Have That Other Girl'.”
When re-enacting 'Painted From Memory' Michael and Bobby stay loyal to the album by singing track for track in it's entirety. Bobby does believe they bring a little something special to the album because they don't sound like Elvis Costello and don't try to sound like Elvis Costello. “Obviously we don't sound like Elvis Costello and Elvis Costello sang the entire thing, but we don't sound like him. But we hope that our act, and the differences in our voices, will bring something new to that... I think that because myself and Michael have done a lot of musical theatre and have sung in the musical theatre realm for a long time, I think that has really aided and really boosted ['Painted From Memory']. Burt Bacharach is so theatrical with his orchestration and the lyrics, at times, are quite narrative and quite character driven. So I think that we bring that. I think that our voices actually lend to it quite a bit.”
Bobby describes 'Painted From Memory' as a “heartbreak, heart-ache album”. He could personally relate to this during the first tour. “['Painted From Memory'] is very much about the end of a relationship and what happens with that. Certainly for me, I had gone through a break-up about the time that we were doing it and the first time that we did the tour and I really related to a lot of the songs.”
Michael, Bobby and Kennedy will perform this show for one night only. “I hope [the audience] sit back and listen to [the show]. I hope that they take in the meaning and the way it was supposed to be listened to... I hope they would enjoy how loyal we are to the album and also how our voices bring something new to it as well.”'Painted From Memory – The Music Of Bacharach And Costello' will play as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, 10 June.