Swan Song (for Cats)
Veda Hille singing songs about cats. A no-brainer to attend.
The wonderful Vancouver musician read a few cat poems from notables like Margaret Atwood and Bill Richardson and played a few feline-related songs by the Rheostatics and the Weakerthans. She even played my favourite song (Dobermans) by my Vancouver band (Apollo Ghosts) even though it is about dogs, not cats.
But the highlights were Veda's own tunes, including a few favourites I have seen/heard only once, years ago. One is the punk piano anthem Nü Cat and the other tells the story of Mr Slim, a cat born to wander. "In Italy they call him Ciao Gato. In Japan they call him Mr Roboto."
The second half of the show was a performance piece by the group Norma. Entitled Swan Song, it is the group's last work together. Open with the theme from the musical cats. Two huge cardboard amber eyes take the stage. The concept: what if Cats had been about what cats actually do? The performers were in costumes inspired by the cheesy musical but the show consisted mostly of them re-enacting Internet cat videos. A fabulous idea, but most of the time was spent building elaborate sets. Playing out the videos (cat dressed as shark on roomba chases duckling, cat attacks shower stream) lasts only a few minutes. It got quite dull despite the lovely expressions and mannerisms of the cat cast.
This was the only performance, but Veda Hille is one of the curators of club PuSh which is offering cool stuff until Feb 1st 2014.