Activities: Free Cosgriff!
Difficulty Rating: 4 for finding a goddamn park.
Thoughts: In the spirit of being ballsy and cashing in on ‘performer privilege’ I asked for free tickets to go see Gillian Cosgriff’s new show at the Butterfly Club. I was feeling very proud that I’d managed to swing freebies… till I arrived and saw the veritable who’s who of Melbourne comedy who’d come to support her and paid for their tickets. Then I felt like a bit of a scrounger.
The show was fantastic. Cosgriff has invented a genius motivational tool whereby she gives herself eight weeks to write eight new songs. It’s a self-imposed deadline which spurs her to create a whole new show’s worth of material in record time. Her music has a contemporary jazz feel and she creates variety by messing with conventional rhythm and splashing her chords with gritty intervals. One song employs a funky 5/4 time signature – as popularised by the Mordor theme from Lord of the Rings. Her voice has a cheerfully conversational pop aesthete which matches the lyrics, usually featuring the rambling thoughts of a twenty-something.
Cosgriff weaves day-to-day stories into her songs in a way that I really admire. My songs tend to be more ideological and static but she can reenact entire conversations and daily activities in her lyrics and make them entertaining. She performs them with casual freedom and a warm, jokey air that puts her audiences at ease in her company. The crowd was well and truly in her pocket throughout the show.
While seeing shows for free isn’t reeeeally the best way of supporting the arts, I was very glad to be able to see a contemporary of mine doing such great work. Sharing the love in the arts scene helps hone the local voice of our city. Ideas spark, word spreads, friendships are formed and the Melbourne arts scene flourishes organically. Plus, there’s no law that says just because you’re an artist yourself you can’t geek out over other artists’ work.
Here’s a photo of Cosgriff. Her show’s playing till Sunday and if you like funny ladies who sing (which you probably do if you’re reading my blog) you’ll love 8 Songs in 8 Weeks.