Close this search box.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our weekly
e-newsletter for news and updates

Advertise with us


The cast
The cast

REVIEW: IN DREAMS – DAVID LYNCH REVISITED. Melbourne Recital Centre. March 16, 2015
Greg Phillips

To the uninitiated, the beginning of last night’s In Dreams – David Lynch Revisited (music from the films of David Lynch) at the Melbourne Recital Hall would have made no sense at all. A guy (let’s call him Musical Director David Coulter for sake of accuracy) walks onto stage amid an aural haze and begins to saw through a piece of wood. He then takes the saw to the other side of the stage and begins to play it with a bow. Coulter is accompanied by a harp played by Marshall McGuire, who is wearing a Slipknot style theatrical mask, as they ease into the theme from the movie, The Elephant Man. Attempting to make sense of any David Lynch work is futile and in the spirit of Lynch’s world of dark dreams, tonight’s artists took the Recital Centre audience on a journey which wasn’t to be questioned but to be admired.

Lynch fans of course would know the symbolism of the log, relating to the sawmill from the town of Twin Peaks, scene of Lynch’s most celebrated production. For the diehard Lynch devotees, the remainder of the evening was a game of match the song to the movie. Canada’s Owen Pallett set the bar high for the evening with a superb violin rendition of Mysteries of Love from the movie Blue Velvet. Sophia Brous, who performed in the UK version of this show in mid-2014 repeated her stunning Spanish a cappella version of Roy Orbison’s Crying, named Llorando for the film Mulholland Drive. Ex-Bad Seed Mick Harvey tackled Eraserhead’s In Heaven before the stage was bathed in Lynch’s signature colour red for the beautifully dark Angelo Badalamenti masterpiece Laura Palmer’s Theme. The noticeably pregnant Sarah Blasko made her first appearance of the evening to deliver a haunting version of the sweet but sinister The Nightingale. The mercurial Kirin J Callinan took on somewhat of a Clark Gable, dandy style persona to croon his way through Just You. International cabaret star Camille O’Sullivan made Up In Flames her own and then in the tradition of Lynchian surprise, the house lights were abruptly  switched on to a crowd collectively mouthing the words, oh this must be intermission!

Upon return Cibo Matta’s Yuka Honda performed a dramatically spot-lit solo execution of The Voice of Love on keyboard. Pallett returned for the Lynch/Badalamenti ‘hit’ Falling, which became a signature tune for its original Twin Peaks’ singer Julee Cruise. Sophia Brous delivered the torch song Blue Velvet with film noir elegance, violently interrupted by Kirin J Callinan’s lightning bolts of distorted guitar, reminding us all of David Lynch’s ability to remove us so effortlessly and instantly from our comfort zones.  However, for those hoping for a breather, there was no reprieve. From Callinan’s crude guitar piercings, our senses were further ruffled by New York based, Japanese duo Cibo Matto’s world of electronic musical chaos on The World Spins (Twin Peaks) and This Magic Moment (Lost Highway). While the main cast  eternally surprised and delighted the audience with their unique cameos, the backing band constantly provided a Lynch-appropriate vibe, tight and creepy. The imposing David Okumu delivered intricate guitar licks, listening to and complimenting the eery trumpet and assorted brass instrumentation from Terry Edwards. Tom Herbert on bass and Seb Rochford on drums kept it sitting together brilliantly and Seb’s hair … my God, I’m sure it has its own postcode. The whole, strange, fantastic dream is the vision of Musical Director David Coulter, who with pride, oversaw the proceedings and contributed his own tasteful guitar, violectra and percussion to complete the picture. His creative use of incidental music and white noise was as crucial as the main songs in creating this Lynchian sensory experience.

Mick Harvey returned for a couple more ballads and Camille O’Sullivan shone again on Song to the Siren, expressive and gripping. Harvey then led some cast members in a stirring version of Chris Isaac’s Wicked Game.  Acute familiarity with David Lynch’s work wasn’t critical to enjoy this show, just a willingness to go with the flow and to applaud the creative genius of Lynch and his musical partner in crime Angelo Badalamenti.

Share this