A Brighton debut of Spiegeltent regulars Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen. A Balkan gypsy cabaret band from Australia blending beautiful gypsy folk ballads, which at times move towards the operatic of comic melodrama delivered with an arched eyebrow, entertain and delight the first night audience. The beautiful Spiegeltent is the perfect setting for the vintage suited stylish musicians.
Mikelangelo knows how to make an entrance - serenading audience members and flirting with all. Clever lyrics intertwine to explore crowd pleasing tragicomic subjects such as death, desire and the Devil. Stand out numbers “A Formidable Marinade” and “Ten Long Years in the Saddle” mix elements of the spaghetti western and Nick Cave storytelling whilst being slightly reminiscent of the iconic kitschness of Lenny Beige. There is no real narrative to the show and the strongest and most entertaining moments are when the whole band performs together. They are tight, talented musicians made up of Guido Libido (accordion), Rufino (violin), Muldavio (clarinet), Little Ivan (Double Bass) and Mikelangelo (lead vocals and guitar). Although Mikelangelo is the frontman, each capable member of the group takes his turn to take the lead – particularly memorable were Little Ivan and the gigolo fiddler Rufino. There are a few teething problems but Mikelangelo’s gift of the gab invites the audience to share in these and makes them part of the show. The audience leaves smiling and this proves a great way to kick off the festival. The show is running for 14 nights, head down early and grab a Sam’s lamb burger and a pint of special Brighton Fringe Ale and let Mikelangelo’s dark and twisted Elvis snake like hips and perfectly quaffered quiff transport you back to the old country.