Leisure Suit Larry
I was invited by Mum to the Speigeltent to witness some "avant gard" Cabaret/Theatre on Saturday. The Speigeltent to those who are not familiar with it is a wooden, canvass and stained glass traveling beauty that has been on the move through Historical Heaven and Hell since 1920, Marlene Deitrich once performed there, the history drips off the walls.
If you listen carefully you might hear Deitrich's dry bones spinning with the noise of a dentists drill in the grave.
The show I was invited to see was named "Ghost of Pleasure - Larry Beau", and to its credit did its best to invoke a Kurt Weil-pre the fall of the Wiemar Republic ambiance. This was achieved with scantily dressed and very brave women scattered about the tents circumference, dancing, lolling, drinking and carousing to quite effectively create (with the environs help) a seedy bordello.
The show was part theater, part gig, part strip show. Short readings punctuating songs of love and desire, illustrated by the beautiful voices and bodies of the women. The story, such as it was, involved a serial philanderer with the uninspiring name of Larry. Larry's life, such as it was appeared to comprise of wandering through pubs and brothels, sleeping with as many women as was possible, refusing to attach himself emotionally to any one of them, and then bitching about it, through what I can only charitably refer to as lackluster prose.
"Larry" an effeminate fop with the linguistic ability of a stoat with a stroke, got some poor unfortunate to mouth his drivel, as he was obviously too ashamed to do it himself.
To be brutally honest a "special child" with a blindfold and a screwdriver through his frontal lobe could more than likely string together a more coherent set of words. Painful is not the word, I had to look away as a song ended and the narration began again, more than once my mother and I glanced away at the same time and ended up meeting each others agonised gaze.
The music however was pleasant enough, as long as, again, you paid no attention to the lyrics. A man more in love with clumsy alliteration I have yet to meet. Musically "Larry" was obviously influenced in his composing by Kurt Weil, Jaques Brel and Tom Waits, more than likely Nick Cave too, though met none of these greats high standards. The songs would have been mournful had the narration not made me involuntarily cough up so much black bile, that I hated the lead character even put to music.
Though mercifully, after Larry's true love died (I think there may have been a moral in there somewhere, but you know I'm really bad with subtle subtext so I'm not sure), we were treated to a very well directed music video where Larry minced about in a subterranean cavern with his luscious women (note Larry if you are reading this review, I said Luscious women, not as you would inevitably have written Luscious ladies - a little writing tip for you.) Very like the beginning of "the player", done in very few takes, with well choreographed extras making the cavern seem like the sort of place a vampire might be seen if he decided to slum it.
All except Larry himself were impressive, and indeed brave to bare their bodies in such a ambitious, though ultimately failed attempt at theater. It would have been a good gig though had all attempts at writing been forgone.
Thankfully though I stayed on in the Spiegeltent for the next concert by Rollers/Sparkers where they performed an amazing set spanning the gamut from guitar to electro, and seemed to have influences as diverse as Aphex Twin, GodSpeed, Sonic Youth, Ride, and Diamanda Galas. I bought their album on the way out, enough said. Check them out at
One last note, one of Larry's hangers on said to me in the bar later that they would have gone to the Rollers/Sparkers but they sounded to loud and avant gard, a term they said John Lennon translated as "wank", something which in all honesty they should have reserved for the pedestrian Larry who managed to fall into all the traps of the stereotypical gay man, whilst apparently being the heterosexual equivalent of a Don Juan.
Peace and Hope.