Angélique Kidjo & Lovecraft (Not the sex shop in Cardiff)

June 13, 2018 by
It was a long day for me at the first Saturday of Festival of Voice. Although I had some reservations with Double Vision (I caught a matinée), I have still found myself telling people to see it. So what else was on offer?
Angélique Kidjo and her show Remain in Light was a fantastic way to spend an evening. Her use of Talking Heads songs are what made this a downright funky and special night. Her messages about racism, women’s rights and the power of positivity were statements between the songs for us to consider as we had a good time. I found my mood infused with joy as each song went on, her amazing band (the African drummer was truly extraordinary) formulated an awesome spectacle of grove.
Her spirit to music is what people were there for and even her dance moves were a sight to behold. She was even kind enough to let audience members come on the stage for the final funk session, as several showed their moves to the beat. The great thing about the Festival of Voice is the variety within it. I have been seeing so many things out of my comfort zone (classical, opera and Avant-Garde are my musical preferences) and Kidjo’s concert is a testament to the diversity that lives in the festival. Another smash hit!
Recovering from the good time that we had just witnessed, I stuck around for Lovecraft by Carys Eleri for a late showing at ffresh. The marketing has been quite clever here and informed us that it’s “Not the sex shop in Cardiff”, even though said establishment does get a reference. The USP of the show is that it is a “A one-woman-science-comedy-music-show” and it gets away with the billing thanks to the presence of Carys who is funny, heartfelt and incredibly insightful. Using real scientific studies about love, sex and the brain, we delve into an hour of absurd songs, cutting remarks on past lovers and academic observations broken down, so as not to go over the audience’s head. She does not shy away from us, even offering out hugs and some lovely chocolate.
This could easily be a rampant, feminist lecture on all thing bad about men, but Carys never stoops to this. She speaks about previous partners with an honesty that few would admit and is never afraid to shy away from he fact that being single can mean loneliness (she points out the loneliness link on the NHS website). The shows real stand out part are the songs, which have a simple element to them, which makes them exceptionally funny. A highlight is the Magic Taxi song, which sums up your bewilderment of how you got home in bed after a crazy night of drinking. A heavy metal riff on rejection is also bizarre and holds up as a real truth when looking for love. It is very much a case of come for the funny songs, stay for the insights and stories.
Lovecraft must be seen in Cardiff, or in Edinburgh if you’re going up for the Fringe.
Lovecraft is at the Wales Millennium Centre till 16th June 2018, then on tour to Edinburgh Fringe.
This review has been supported by the Wales Critic Fund.
Join Weeping Tudor Productions on the 16th June for a James Joyce inspired Bloomsday celebration. Expect readings, songs, new writing, performance art and more! Dress in Bloomsday attire  and read your favourite passage from the book. We have prizes for best dressed. Book below:

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