BWW Review: BELLY OF A DRUNKEN PIANO: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2018 at Showroom One At The GC At The German Club
Reviewed by Christine Pyman, Thursday 1st March 2018.
With gravel in his throat and wit on his tongue, Stewart D'Arrietta performs Belly of a Drunken Piano, a show full of poignant longings and long-lost innocence. These songs of Tom Waits, Ian Dury and a few others, together with some excellent original pieces, take the audience on a trip through late night bars where everyone, not just the piano player, is drunk.
The Kurt Weill style rhythms and carnival calliope sounds lead us willingly into temptation as we follow the trilby-hatted D'Arrietta, growling songs of Satan, Jesus, and sex, with a practiced patter of good bad jokes between.
Rock beats that resonate deep within the solar-plexus, blues screams that tear at our hearts, vividly acted and sung poetry sleazes into our souls, and D'Arrietta is the king of whiskey, smoke, and late nights.
Backed by the brilliance of Lyndon Grey on double bass, Mark Meyer on drums and the insanely talented Martin Hailey on guitar, D'Arrietta effortlessly inhabits the persona of each of the singers whose work he does more than justice to, as he sings and plays keyboards with panache and arpeggios. Sliding from Estuary English in I Want to be Straight and Wake Up and Make Love to Me, to Waits's unique sounds for the majority of the evening, with a dash of nasal northern Lennon thrown in as a nod to his long-running smash hit show, Lennon Through a Glass Onion, D'Arrietta shines like a broken diamond through cigarette haze. For anyone who enjoys rock ballads and exceptional performances, this is a show not to be missed.