A cloudy haze of disorientation swept over me like a vulture circling it’s prey. I fought through the pain that was now attacking every ounce of my somewhat inactive mind in order to focus and gather some indication of my surroundings. I could still taste the remnants of last night upon my breath and it was foul and deadly. A poisonous vice that had a firm grip around my throat.
A short way up the road I could see a couple of police cars outside a house and choppers flying overhead. Something big had definitely gone down and I didn’t want a part of it. I hauled myself to my feet and began to walk the streets, searching for somewhere to camp myself and get some serious breakfast happening. My mouth was salivating at the prospect of bacon and hash browns.
As I walked, flashbacks from last night came spinning to the fore. Mainly it centered around a drunken brawl that took place outside my dorm. Without any signs of it letting down, I took it upon myself to exit the vicinity and find an alternate place of rest. This would explain why I ended up sleeping on a bench in some random park in the outer suburbs of the CBD.
I eventually wound up in a semi-decent cafe towards the city centre and once I had a strong coffee in hand, the buzzing in my head started to calm and dissipate, much to my relief. With a clear head I could plan my mode of attack for the day. My game plan had gone slightly awry and I needed to gravitate towards the main focus for being in Brisbane in the first place, to immerse myself in the arts and get some kind of experience that would pour fire onto the senses. Would anything be able to reach the level of Greenaway’s efforts from the previous night?
As the day poured on, little was left to re-ignite the passion that lay within. There were glimpses of promise, with folklore fairy tales involving puppets that vented towards the macabre. This did stir the senses a little, but not enough to enflame. There was also a powerful performance by a South African male, who spoke about his perspective of apartheid and his struggles with his own sexuality during this period. This had struck a chord with my own interest in Oppression, particular when projected through the voice of theatre.
All of these things gently stirred the emotions, but I as yet had not encountered anything that triggered deep within my soul. As the night wore on, my hopes were diminishing. That was until I stumbled into the Spiegeltent and bore witness to a melting pot of various performers and they had me hooked.
I have to admit, the idea of attending a cabaret performance left me feeling a little uncomfortable, but that was to do with the lack of confidence I had within my own skin. I knew that if I were to confront my demon, I would need to ride the beast and see this thing through, despite any immediate doubts I may have had. I am so glad that I was able to push through and combat this fear.
The delectable cast included, Paul Capsis, a man dubbed as the King of Cabaret performers, who was able to wield Janis Joplin to amazing effect. Close your eyes and she could be in the room with you.
Alongside him were, Lady Carol of the Moon and Le Gateaux Chocolat, who both provided captivating performances. The artist who captured me the most though, was the MC for the evening, Martin Martini. His music has been described as Mongrel, with his lyrics oozing anger and perversity, so already I began to click with his presence on stage.
I felt myself being drawn into his world. I was being lured into his vortex. There was no getting out. The only choice was to grip tight and enjoy the ride.
By the end of the performance, I felt violated to no end and I didn’t want this curious pleasure to stop. But end it must. Once more I found myself trying to get closer to the curator of the emotions that I was now experiencing. Martini was selling some of his music at the end of the show and so I approached to lay my hands on some of his material. I wanted so much to ask him how he was able to harness the weird within and deliver his voice with so much energy and creativity. How was he able to project his soul with so much force and let his passion thrash itself with so much voracity? My nerves failed me however and I sheepishly collected the music and headed out the way I came in. There was a marked difference though. I poured back out onto the Brisbane streets once again, fueled with ambition and desire.
This new sense of wonderment would propel me forward with enough zest for my journey home. The journey itself was a marked improvement on the one I had to get me to Brisbane. Everything seemed calm and peaceful. There were no devil snakes thrashing around on the hood of my car and the Gods seemed appeased. I was at a point of self-discovery. A new chapter had begun. My final destination wasn’t necessarily clear, but it did feel good. Things were starting to change and I was starting to see enough positivity in the creative industry that stirred the blood and shook the soul into reawakening.
The journey would continue and the ride would be a strange and intoxicating blend of the weird and wonderful. A world where I was fully prepared to immerse myself into and absorb every last detail.