Happy Little Copyrights- a tribute to the noble art of song stealing

Pablo Picasso once said- ‘Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.’ Nowhere is this more resonant than in the world of songwriting, as Bungendore’s own Shortis and Simpson explore in their new show Happy Little Copyrights.

Fresh from standing ovations at the National Folk Festival, and with a brilliant band made up of Ian Blake, Jon Jones and Dave O’Neill, they will not only give stirring renditions of some very well-known songs, but tell the fascinating stories of how these hits were all ‘borrowed’ from other sources.

Discover how nothing is new under the sun as they take a musical journey that traverses genres from traditional ballad to country, Cajun, rock ‘n’ roll, pop, gospel, world music and classical, and includes hits by the likes of The Animals, Procol Harum, Simon and Garfunkel, George Harrison, the Stones, Men At Work, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Hank Williams and many more.

Happy Little Copyrights is the tale of innocents and villains, commerce and tradition, minstrels and moguls, told in Shortis and Simpson’s inimitable style- riveting narration, surprising information, humour, and virtuosic musicianship.
All this in the intimate cabaret setting of Bungendore’s Carrington Inn. Don’t miss Happy Little Copyrights.
Carrington Inn, Bungendore. Fri/Sat May 17/18, 6pm arrival for 8pm show. $93/$87. Includes 3-Course meal, drink on arrival, free on-site parking. To book go to https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=473492

Comments from the Folk Festival- “…..a lot of hard research turned into an entertaining, educational and brilliant show….we learnt a lot in the most enjoyable way…l loved Happy Little Copyrights…. highly entertaining, beautifully sung and with funny and amazing insights into the use and abuse of copyright… magic…. beautiful, well played renditions of well-known songs….I really loved the copyright show at the Folk Festival….I watched the first performance and was so impressed I came back for the second……absolutely brilliant….I’m from South Africa and was particularly moved by the injustice of the story of The Lion Sleeps Tonight… saw the copyrights show twice I enjoyed it so much.

 

2 Folk Festival shows

UNDER THE INFLUENCE- The singers, the songwriters and the seminal moments that have inspired us
In Under the Influence, we blend specially written originals with songs that represent those artists and seminal moments. Getting much more than honourable mentions will be the likes of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Barbra Streisand, Leonard Cohen, Elvis, Erik Satie, Spike Milligan, The Beatles and many more. Then there are the stories-Moya being thrown out of the school choir- her first hearing of Bulgarian singing- John being told he was tone deaf- his father’s church choir rehearsing in the lounge room etc.
COBARGO FOLK FESTIVAL, Cobargo Showground, Sat Mar 2, 9.15pm. AND a different version onSun Mar 3, 11am (including guests joining us to talk and sing their way through their influences- Shane Howard, Daniel Champagne and Laura Bishop (from Chaika).PLUS a satire show on Fri Mar 1. PLUS Moya is running the festival choir- all welcome to join. More info on: www.cobargofestival.com

HAPPY LITTLE COPYRIGHTS- Our tribute to the noble art of song stealing
Pablo Picasso once said- ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’, and nowhere is this more resonant than in the world of songwriting. Shortis and Simpson explore the story of what happens when the folk process meets the world of Copyright Acts. It’s a tale of innocents and villains, commerce and tradition, minstrels and moguls, full of riveting narration, surprising information, buckets of humour and virtuosic musicianship. Joined by a hot band (Dave O’Neill, Jon Jones, Ian Blake), and the Worldly Goods Choir, they will blend the traditional with the contemporary to travel through a range of genres- blues, country, gospel, Cajun, folk, world, rock ‘n’ roll, pop, and classical, proving that nothing is new under the sun. NATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL, Exhibition Park, Canberra, Fri Apr 19, 4.50pm/Mon Apr 22, 10am. PLUS…a satire show on Apr 21,Worldly Goods Choir opening the festival Thurs Apr 18, and Moya is leading the Festival choir, all welcome. Go to www.folkfestival.org.au

 

Another Fine Mess

A satirical look at the events and characters of the year we’ve almost survived

2018- another year, another hotchpotch of foibles and follies. Canberra’s own musical cabaret artists, Shortis and Simpson attempt to unravel this jumble of fumbling and bumbling, in their inimitable satirical bang up to date style, as they present their sharp take on the events and characters that have shaped this year of years. Another Fine Mess is so up-to-date that they don’t know exactly what’s in it yet as it will be written very close to the time with the ink drying on the page. Suffice it to say that in the midst of ABC ructions, Prime Ministerial upheavals, Dutton’s au pair saga, by-elections, tax cuts, Barnaby’s exploits, contentious maiden speeches, ball and strawberry tampering, not to mention Trump, Putin, May, Boris etc, Shortis and Simpson figure that the only thing left to do is laugh, so they’ll be doing their best to find humour and the odd moment of poignancy to help make sense of Another Fine Mess.
Carrington Inn, Bungendore Fri/Sat Nov 23/24, 6pm, 3 course meal and show, $89 (5% seniors’ discount). Early bird price $80 available till SEPT 30. Ring 6238 1044 or on The Carrington’s website, or at trybooking.com (N.B. Bookings are already higher than ScoMo’s approval rating)

Main Hall, Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera St, Braddon, Fri Nov 30 8pm, $35/$30 concession Book on 6182 0000 or at eventbrite.com

We are taking this show on the road! So if you know people who might enjoy us further afield:

St George’s Parish Hall, Battery Point, Hobart. Sat Nov 10, 7pm,Bookings at eventbrite.comFor info contact Susan at brockles@bigpond.net.au

The Community Room, 8 Wells St, Southbank, Melbourne. Sat Nov 17, 7pm, For bookings and info, contact Joan at mikeandjo52@gmail.com or 0424 600 535

Old School Hall, West Street, Peel (near Bathurst) Sat Dec 8, 8pm,
Bookings at eventbrite.com. For info contact Bruce at bluesandshoes@bigpond.com

 

 

The 1948 Show


The stories and the songs of the year in which John and Moya were born

Yes, both Shortis and Simpson hit the big 7-0 this year, and to mark this auspicious occasion they are presenting The 1948 Show, a tribute to the year of their births.

And what a year it was! George Orwell slightly rearranged the numbers to give us the setting of his dystopian novel, 1984. The Holden car was launched amid great fanfare. Israel was born, as was North Korea, and in South Africa apartheid was instigated.

Thanks to 1948 we have Scrabble, the transistor, the Polaroid camera, Velcro, and in Britain the National Health Service, which was introduced two days before Moya was born.

Here in Oz, Prime Minister Ben Chifley was trying to nationalise the banks, while the anti-Red fervour of Opposition Leader Bob Menzies was growing stronger each day.

The 1948 Show will feature hits like Nature Boy, Too Darn Hot, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Slow Boat to China, and many more. There’ll be anti-apartheid protest songs, an Arab-Israeli peace song, along with surprise gems from the likes of Woody Guthrie, and the National Library’s sheet music collection. And there’ll be a medley of classics from other musical 1948 babies like James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant, Lulu etc.

And much more, with the usual mix of humour, poignancy, surprising information, personal stories, and, above all, entertainment.

Plus- there’s a special deal for anyone else born in ’48- a great birthday present.

Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera St Braddon, Fri Sept 7, 8pm
$35/$30 concession/$25 if you were born in 1948 (no proof required, we know what you look like)
Bookings can be made on 6182 0000, or at eventbrite.

A Whiter Shade of Beatles

Marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ White Album

1968 was a dramatic year. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. There were anti-Vietnam War protests on our streets, and conscientious objectors were being arrested. Gorton became PM and Whitlam was opposition leader.

It was also the year of the jumbo jet, fluoridated water, and Chitty Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was on at the movies. Led Zeppelin were born and Cream played their farewell concert.

In the midst of all this The Beatles released two great singles- Hey Jude and Lady Madonna- and flew to India to attend a star-studded residential course of meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Amidst this mind expansion they wrote nearly 40 songs, all of which were unlike any they’d written previously.

But it was a time of friction between the Fab Four and when they ventured into the studio they presented a showcase of separate creative pursuits rather than the work of a united band.

The White Album that emerged is incredible and varied, laced with gems like Blackbird, Julia, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Dear Prudence, and running the gamut from rock to lullaby, Jamaican to 30s’ swing to C&W, blues to electronic.

Bungendore’s own cabaret artists Shortis and Simpson bring the era and the songs to life in their unique way, with surprising stories, musical imagination and virtuosity, humour, poignancy and above all, entertainment.

The Carrington Inn, 53 Ellendon St, Bungendore Fri/Sat 27/28 April, 6pm. 3 course dinner and show $89 (Senior card concession-5%)To book http://thecarringtoninn.com.au/entertainment/ or https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=355819& or in person at Café Woodworks or at Carrington Inn or 6238 1044.

 

Community Songwriting Workshop- Thank Q For the Memories

The Q celebrates its 10th birthday this year and to mark the occasion the 2018 season will include unique entertainment – Thank Q For the Memories. This tribute will be devised and written by local cabaret artists John Shortis and Moya Simpson.

Thank Q For the Memories will be a humorous, moving, informative and entertaining musical and theatrical celebration that will tell the story of The Q. How this much loved venue came about, its historical context, and highlights from its ten years of presenting entertainment to our region and much more. As well as Shortis and Simpson, the show will feature performers who have been associated with the venue during that period.

To kick the project off, there will be a community song-writing workshop. John and Moya will lead participants through the process of creating a theme song and as you are a subscriber to The Q we are inviting you to be part of this workshop. No experience or musical knowledge is necessary, just enthusiasm and ideas.

The workshop is free, but as there are limited spaces, bookings are essential.

WHEN? Friday 2 Feb @ 7.30pm – 9pm,

WHERE? On the stage of the Q

WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE? PLEASE PHONE THE BOX OFFICE – 6285 6290

 

2017- The Year of the Haircut

A satirical look at the events and characters of the year we’ve just survived

2017- what a year it was! We were led to believe it was The Year of the Rooster, but no, it was the Year of the Haircut, a year that looks like it could have been run from a hairdressing salon.

Why ? Because we were taken to the brink by Donald and Kim, two men with the world’s worst hairdos.

Then there was the High Court, where wigs worked overtime to determine whether we can vote for marriage equality in the mail, and whether a bunch of politicians are constitutional.

Not to mention the cut-throat razors in the hands of Malcolm’s two political foes, Bill and Tony.

Then there’s the red mane of a certain Pauline that emerged from under a burqa with the lot. And the wind tunnel of Employment Minister Michaelia Cash.

And let’s not forget Boris Johnson- now there’s a haircut!

All this, and more, is ripe for cutting-edge hair-raising satire as Shortis and Simpson, in their inimitable style, present their sharp take on the events and characters that have shaped that year of years.

Don’t miss 2017- The Year of the Haircut.

TILBA- Sun Jan 28, 5pm $30 (includes Tilba wine and cheese party and show).Tilba Valley Wines, 947 Old Highway, Narooma (signposted off main highway, 12 kms south of Narooma, 4 kms north of Tilba)
Bookings 44737308

 

 

2017- The Year of the Haircut

A satirical look at the year we’ve almost survived

2017- what a year it’s been! We were led to believe it was The Year of the Rooster, but no, this has been the Year of the Haircut, a year that looks like it could have been run from a hairdressing salon.

Why ? Because we’ve been taken to the brink by Donald and Kim, two men with the world’s worst hairdos.

Then there’s the High Court, where wigs have worked overtime to determine whether a bunch of politicians are constitutional.

Not to mention the cut-throat razors in the hands of Malcolm’s two political foes, Bill and Tony, and the red hair style of a certain Pauline emerging from under a burqa with the lot.

And let’s not forget the Blond Bombshell himself – Boris Johnson. Or the wind tunnel that is Michaelia Cash. Or the Catalan leader who looks like he’s bought a 1964 Beatles’ wig.

All this, and more, is ripe for cutting-edge, hair-raising satire as Shortis and Simpson present their sharp take on the events and characters that have shaped this year of years.

Five shows in different towns- don’t miss 2017- The Year of the Haircut.

MELBOURNE- Sat Nov 18, 6.30pm for 7.30 start, $20. A house concert in West Preston. Bring a plate and drinks. To book and for more info, contact Bruce and Jill on 9478 0130, 0409 179 535, or at jandbwatson@gmail.com

 

CANBERRA- Fri Nov 24, Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera St, Braddon. Fri Nov 24, 8pm. $35/$30. Bookings 6182 0000, or in person at Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, or on-line at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2017-the-year-of-the-haircut-tickets-39206008226

O’CONNELL (near Bathurst)- Sat Dec 2, 8pm, $30/$25 conc. St Thomas’ Church Hall, Beaconsfield Rd, O’Connell. BYO picnic and drinks- To book https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oconnell-performance-of-year-of-the-haircut-tickets-28323746087

BUNGENDORE- Sat Dec 9, 6pm, Bungendore Woodworks Café. Sold out!!!
Extra show- Fri Dec 8, 6pm, Carrington Inn, Malbon St Bungendore, $80 for 3 course dinner and show. Bookings
6238 1688

TILBA- Sun Jan 28, 5pm $30 (includes Tilba wine and cheese party and show).Tilba Valley Wines, 947 Old Highway, Narooma (signposted off main highway, 12 kms south of Narooma, 4 kms north of Tilba)
Bookings 44737308

 

Under the Influence

A tribute to the singers, the songwriters and the seminal moments that have inspired Shortis and Simpson

John Shortis and Moya Simpson are known for their quirky originality, developed over a long career, culminating this June in an OAM each. But what were the catalysts that shaped and inspired them? Who were their most influential writers and singers? What were the turning points in their remarkable journeys?

In Under the Influence, Shortis and Simpson blend specially written originals with songs that represent those artists and seminal moments. Getting much more than honourable mentions will be the likes of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Barbra Streisand, Leonard Cohen, Elvis, Erik Satie, Spike Milligan, The Beatles and many more. Then there are the stories- like Simpson being thrown out of the school choir- her first hearing of Bulgarian singing- Shortis being told he was tone deaf- his father’s church choir rehearsing in the lounge room etc etc etc.

Funny, surprising, touching, full of stunning musical moments, Under the Influence is not to be missed. You’ve seen the duo, now visit the world that made them.

AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE, Elouera St, Braddon. Friday August 11, 8pm. $35/$30.                                                      Bookings 6182 0000, or in person at Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, or on-line at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/under-the-influence-tickets-35906075037 (there is a small booking fee applicable for on-line bookings).

CURTAIN CALL- Vivaldi’s Last Season

After 14 years, Canberra’s favourite cabaret venue, Teatro Vivaldi, will have to close its doors forever in June. The ANU Arts Centre is to be razed to the ground to make way for a health and well being centre.

Before coming to Vivaldi’s, current owners Mark Santos and Anthony Hill, were running a B&B in Noel Coward’s house in London until Anthony was offered a position at the ANU. Their passion for music-theatre saw them buying an established restaurant and converting it into a performance and dining venue that has found its way into the hearts of many Canberrans.

For local cabaret artists, Shortis and Simpson, it has become a spiritual home, scene of many of their shows over 10 years. So it’s with great love for this venue and sadness for its demise that they are honoured to create and perform the very last Vivaldi show – Curtain Call.

For this last hurrah they will be joined by special guest artist, Peter J Casey, flown in at great expense from Wagga Wagga. Shortis and Simpson have performed many shows with him at Teatro Vivaldi.

Expect anything from Noel Coward to original songs, highlights of past shows, new material, stories, plenty of laughs and the inevitable tear. Don’t miss this memorable event. Saturday night booked out!

Teatro Vivaldi, ANU campus, Thurs-Sat June 8/9/10, 7pm.

3 course dinner and show $75/$85/$95 (depending on seating). Show only, 8.30pm, $35/$45/$55. Book 6257 2718 or enquiries@vivaldirestaurant.com.au

 

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