Feb 22, 2008

Coastal happenings

Whilst training for tonight's game against Essendon, the Western Bulldogs' Jarrad Grant - recruited from the Dandenong Stingrays - was stung on Port Melbourne beach. 

By a stingray.

Today is also the birthday of renowned Australian wildlife antagoniser Steve Irwin. Who was fatally wounded by a stingray. And born in Essendon.

Now if their family pet was a bulldog named Jarrad, the words "Macabre" and "Perfection" could at last meet.

Feb 13, 2008

"Sorry" Day

As our Nation's leader has today issued an historic and long overdue apology to the indigenous people of Australia, I thought it a good opportunity to make a few apologies of my own. After all, contrition is quite noble. Looks good on me.


*clears throat*

*adopts contrite pose*

I am sorry

To the delightful young family who had the misfortune of entering the elevator in which I had just travelled; on the day after 'curry nite:'

I am sorry

To the traumatised lad outside the bakery, who no doubt had his vocabulary broadened, when overhearing me severely and rather colourfully chastising myself for forgetting my wallet (although, I didn't realise the car window was down):

I am sorry

To those forced to absorb the inane ramblings of a friend or colleague after their purchase of a new timber decking/BMW/HD TV etc. :

I am Sorry

To anyone who lives within earshot of a halfwit with a leafblower:

I am sorry

To anyone who has seen me with my shirt off (includes embattled Velvette):

I am deeply sorry

*waits for heartfelt applause*

Jan 19, 2008

Beggar's temerity

Stinking roadside collectors. What gives them the right?


Let me first state that there is nothing remotely wrong with charitable organisations appealing to the otherwise non charitable public for their hard-earned. In fact, the velvet pockets are routinely trawled for the benefit of  those less fortunate.

However.... I was stopped at an intersection the other day, and a kerbside collector glanced my way and was given a polite but firm signal - through the unambiguous medium of eye contact - that today was not giving day.

The action he then took was unforgivable. He marched up to my open window and shook his stinking can in my face. 


Rather than encourage me to donate, his deplorable gesture made me want to forcefully relocate his receptacle to a place that would render any donation the exclusive privilege of his proctologist.

Anyway, if I want a can shaken in my face, I'll visit a King Street establishment with Alan Didak.

Jan 6, 2008

Phantom Orchestra

As vouchsafed in the last post, (lest we forget) the current production of Phantom is nothing if not impressive. On stage at least. 

But theatre is about the music as well as theatre. He wrote redundantly.

We already know that A Warlow's voice is seven shades of sensational, but how did the pit orchestra stack up?

Answer: Adequate, if a little discouraging.

What saddened the Velvette and your humble blogger was not the quality of the playing, but the flimsy orchestration the miserly  producers thought they could get away with. An orchestra - yes even a pit orchestra - should have  20 - 30 players as a bare minimum, not 5 players + 2 keyboards doing the rest.

Any dramatic effect is dissipated.

There are a couple of theatrically chilling moments that needed a certain malevolent sound to enhance the effect and seal the deal. What the keyboards produced at the crucial times was about as foreboding as a dwarf with a lisp, wearing a pastel jumpsuit.

If the brass sounds are unconvincing, the drum sounds are diabolical. You'd get a more realistic sound listening to the local kinder percussion ensemble through a faulty mobile phone.

The producers are lining their pockets at the expense of working musicians and the discerning public.

Business as usual.

Jan 2, 2008


It's been said that musical theatre is high art for the lowest common denominator. Or if it hasn't, I'm saying it now. 

The Velvette and self sampled some of this entry level culture in the form of "Phantom of the Opera" last night.; and were genuinely entertained. 

Good sets, props and cast alone won't quite smoke the cigar when it comes a Lloyd-Weber opus. No, what impressed us could be summed up in one word. Warlow.

The man is a vocal marvel.

There's a rumour that the civil architects in New York have requested his voice be used as the foundations for the new Freedom Towers. It's that substantial. 

Sure he's solid, but can he emote? Judge for yourself. Apparently the lead soprano was instructed to think of rotting carp when he sang to her; in order to stave off a glorious but involuntary physical reaction.

In his unfunny comedy show, Rove McManus asks of his guests "For whom would you turn gay ?" If forced to board the manwagon, I'd have to add Warlow to my list.

Which includes Shaun Micallef and Antonio Banderas.

Next blog: Orchestral critique.

Dec 30, 2007

Drama Free

The velvet trousered man does enjoy a good Christmas, despite the sometimes gauche commercial build up. The event just passed was particularly mighty with just the two animals having to lay down their lives that we might feast.

And those who've encountered my significant velvet other - herinafter to be referred to as "The Velvette" - and her culinary prowess, would know that said feast would be nothing short of prize winning.


Yes, Christmasses are meant to be happy occasions, and it baffles me how so many of them routinely turn to crap.

Oh, that's right.


Dec 24, 2007

By Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight is an idiosyncratically Australian thing.

But then again, so is applauding after the 3rd movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, but that doesn't necessarily make it right.

Don't get me wrong good readers, I enjoy Christmas and and it's associated merry makings as much as the next corpulent goon, but why does good taste have to be a conspicuous casualty?  Why indeed.

There is an huge amount of these concerts around suburban parks every year - a great deal with which the Velvet Trousered Man has been involuntarily associated. The talent lineup is a flaccid roll-call of washed up  F-list celebrities, desperately grasping the tenuous cards of fame they're phenomenally lucky to have been dealt in the first place. 

This standard of minstrel is aptly matched by the repertoire. It seems that any song with the words "Santa," "Rudolph," or "Baby" can be passed as fertile yule material for the ears of the unrefined. And it's apparently written in the contract of said entertainment hacks to mention how "grouse youze look" when the audience raise their candle bearing hands en masse.

The only hint of religious significance occurs when the Infant King's name is uttered under the breath of the dignified minority on being exposed to such trite dross.

This all may sound a little harsh, and of course, it is. But there is good Christmas music out there, believe me.  I see no reason to accept 3rd or 4th rate offerings when 1st and 2nd rate offerings exist, and live among us. 

Having said all that, the Velvet Trousered Man would like to wish you all an Happy Christmas; or hopes your Christmas was an happy one. Depending on when you read this.

Ho ho ho.