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THE VIEW FROM THE PORCH
London - Battersea Barge - June 02
This sparkling cabaret by Rhiannon Meades flashes by, her voice by turns
raunchy, sultry, and moving.
Tim Sutton plays sublime piano and a deliciously vulgar moment of accordion.
There's a loose narrative of a single woman so far from romance that she's
stuck 'on the porch', let alone getting inside the house of love and being on the
shelf. A glance at Meades, nonchalantly sexy, makes this scenario unlikely, and
when she opens her mouth (to sing), quite impossible.
And singing is what this entertaining show's about. Meades has chosen 15 or so songs
which suit her voice to perfection. If you've ever hated 'People', here it's
given a sincerity that Streisand perhaps now fails to achieve. There's a funny and
updated version of 'My Baby Just Cares About Me' that's nothing like Nina Simone's.
This is to pick at random a couple of songs from an excellent list (contents vary
gig to gig). Meades delivers 'Miss Byrd' with a twinkling naughtiness - the
audience visibly relaxed with it, perhaps reassured that this evening wasn't going
to explore the dull seriousness the 'jazz' tag sometimes carries.
Tim Sutton must be the ultimate accompanist - always underscoring the singer rather
than stealing the limelight, enjoying and never boring with the two short solos he
permits himself. He's a widely experienced musical director, and it shows in the
subtle notation of his discreet piano work. The set includes one of his songs,
'Me and The Sunshine'.
'The View From The Porch' pops up from time to time on the fringe and elsewhere.
This review's from the Barge at Battersea (London) gig, 30 June 2002,
and the show was at the Canal Café Theatre, 6 May 02.
30 June 2002
Fringe Report (c) Fringe Report 2002-2013