Saturday night saw Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Mikelangelo performing songs by Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen in an intimate performance at the National Theatre in Braidwood. Mikelangelo (Michael Simic) brought forth his velvety baritone to create his own versions of tracks by these three masters of song. Singing un-mic’d and accompanied only by acoustic guitar, the small but enthusiastic audience was treated to an intimate and personal show.

The ‘stage’ was a small are defined by an arc of tea-light candles and two small standing lamps. The atmosphere was at once warm and cozy (even though the temperature wasn’t quite what you’d describe as such). Songs included Deanna and The Ship Song (Cave), Black Wings and Pasties and a G-String (At the Two O’Clock Club) (Waits) and Chelsea, Famous Blue Raincoat and Bird On a Wire (Cohen). Of particular stand-out to me was Mikelangelo’s cover of Cave’s Into My Arms in which I felt I was hearing it for the very time … thank you for that. Local Rosie Rick (making her on-stage debut!) joined Mikelangelo on stage toward the end of the first set where they sang Henry Lee (Cave & PJ Harvey).

We were also treated to Streets of Melbourne, a new original song of Mikelangelo from his upcoming album.

My friend and I came down from Canberra (about an hour’s drive) especially for the show and were very glad we had. We had seen the poster in Braidwood the previous weekend while I was visiting my printer for the upcoming Zoologica show but that’s another story… Rain had started falling just as we arrived in Braidwood and it made a lovely sound on the tin roof of the National during the performance. It was the occasion of Winter Solstice and Braidwood didn’t disappoint with near zero temperatures and fog beginning to settle after the rain. Ticket price of $25 included a mug of mulled wine (which was magically replenished throughout the evening) and a bowl of deliciously warming vegetarian curry courtesy of Paydirt Eatery. Couldn’t ask for more really 🙂

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