Review: Australia Tour 2015

Catherine Lambert, 15th June 2015

Herald Sun

Songs and laughs a Shaw thing

Ian Shaw is very clear when describing his particular style.

"I'm no Buble," he says. "I'm not a crooner. I'm a little bit more subversive and naughty than that." With friends such as Julian Clary and Barry Humphries, his self description is not surprising.

Even chatting on the phone from Britain, Shaw's cheeky spirit comes through. It may explain why he loves Australians so much - even though he has never been before.

"Australian people have been enriching my life for many years and I'm a big fan of Australian culture - I love Kath and Kim and Mark Trevorrow (Bob Downe) is a huge friend of mine," he says.

"So I'm a bit late to the table in not being there yet, but someone, somewhere is saying come down to Australia."

The multi-talented artist, who has recorded 16 jazz albums, is performing his witty songs first at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival before heading to Melbourne's Paris Cat with a band.

He performs some of his own compositions along with songs by Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and even Rodgers and Hart.

"I always veer off though when I perform because I love hecklers and interacting with an audience," he says.

"I see no barrier between myself and the audience.

"I've heard that Australian audiences are mostly polite so we'll see, but what I love mostly is showing people great music with my bands or even if I'm on my own because I play piano.

"I love playing songs people haven't heard before. If you can make an audience laugh and two seconds later make them cry, that's great. Meow Meow (Australian cabaret star Melissa Madden Gray) does exactly that on the stage and I love that style of performing."