Patti Plinko: Dreadful Little Girl

Patti Plinko glances around the stage in search of the next musical instrument. “We were told,” she acknowledges almost shyly to the audience, “that whenever we’re looking for anything, we should head there with purpose.” She grins, and moves forward. “The only purpose we have is when heading towards our whisky.” So saying, she launches herself at a very decent brand, takes a healthy glug of the bottle, and throws herself into the next song.

From delicate ingenue to foot stamping dervish, Patti Plinko delivers a powerful hour of naked honesty and seductive screams

It’s this mix of almost-fragility and self assured kick-ass attitude that make up the hour of songs at The Warren, in which Patti doesn’t always fully require her microphone to fill the expanse of the Main House. At times, she has a snarling deliciousness to her delivery, wrestling the songs – and her audience – into delighted submission with energy and verve. “Out of breath on the first song,” she remarks ruefully, shortly before blasting into the next one. It’s an evening of glorious women – “angry women, hot women....women I like – women I don’t like.” Even Le Pen gets a brief mention.

The songs largely explore very intimate themes, occupied as they mostly are by two of the most private activities: sex and reading. The spirits of both Sarah Smith and Virginia Woolf are invoked, with woozily erotised lyrics (“I curtsey at your hem”). There’s a number that wears the cloak of Little Red Riding Hood, and there’s a biker-chick type song that feels like it could be a Hunter S. Thompson novella all of its own. A strong literary bent runs all through the show’s spine, all of which is not to say that the evening is in any way a diatribe or an alienating platform: it’s a growingly glorious and fierce celebration.

There are songs that celebrate Sapphic fascination, delivered like a troubadour’s tune (“Take my hand and dance with me .. just like a gentleman does”), and others like The River Witch, that comment on all those women that have been drowned, burned and trolled. An anthem for today’s Nasty Women, indeed. With lines like “fifty thousand angels gasping”, there are many lyrics and ideas on display here that you would like to steal as your own. From delicate ingenue to foot stamping dervish, Patti Plinko delivers a powerful hour of naked honesty and seductive screams. She is woman, hear her snarl.

And Brighton Fringe is truly lucky to have her. 

Reviews by Andrew Allen

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The Blurb

Patti Plinko returns with her dark and erotic songs, drunken fiddles and jumping guitars. "Sheer brilliance!" (Time Out London), "It’s like Jane Birkin stayed too long at the bar with Tom Waits" (Storyteller Scotland).