Colin Hay: Get Rid of the Minstrel

Most will only know Colin Hay from his time as the frontman for Men at Work and appearing in an episode of Scrubs. For those willing to delve into his back catalogue they will discover a strong songwriter with a sardonic wit.

A great show to delve into if you want to get a broad overview of the artist’s work.

In Get Rid of the Minstrel, we are treated to some of Hay’s most famous work in familiar and unfamiliar forms. Between the songs we are recounted with stories, anecdotes, and quips. He is joined onstage by a band including guitarist San Miguel Perez. There is a good selection of songs spanning his career, including his most famous. With such a long career, some people's personal favorites might not make an appearance, but this a setlist with broad appeal. Despite the many great songs to be heard it’s actually a cover of AC/DC that provides the highlight, a song I’ve previously despised.

A good chunk of the songs are standard renditions but a few have been literally jazzed up. It's a good mix of the familiar with new flavours. Down Under serves a springboard for each member of the band to sidle into solos. Hay is originally from Scotland and although he didn’t spend much time here, it certainly seemed to form his sense of humour. Although he doesn’t delve too deeply into his life, it’s good to hear some context for what was happening when he wrote his songs. The story of his dad singing in the car is a real delight and plenty of wry jokes are scattered throughout the show to brilliant effect.

This is a great show to delve into if you want to get a broad overview of the artist’s work. For fans of Colin Hay, it strikes a perfect balance between the new and the familiar.

Reviews by James W. Woe

The New Theatre

The Voice Factor [X]

Smock Alley Theatre, 1662

God Has No Country

Smock Alley Theatre, 1662

The Quare Fellow

Gilded Balloon at the Counting House


Pleasance Dome

Lou Sanders: What's That Lady Doing?

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Colin Hay: Get Rid of the Minstrel




The Blurb

It's been said that live bands are an endangered species. This one is alive and well, and fronted by Colin Hay, a singer/songwriter and storyteller. He made musical history with Grammy-winning Men at Work in the 80s. With the sheen of renewal, Colin and his band, who hail from Philadelphia, Peru and Cuba, will take you on a journey. From the bracing shore of Saltcoats and far off Down Under, across the Pacific to the City of Angels. You will throw your head back and laugh, you may even become misty eyed.