BOB HART OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

THE suc­cess of RocKwiz is more than a happy ac­ci­dent — this show is a rare and ex­otic flower that blos­soms more ex­trav­a­gantly with ev­ery sea­son.

And this is the eighth sea­son for a show that has un­folded, or per­haps spon­ta­neously evolved, at the right time, in all the right places, and in­volv­ing ex­actly the right peo­ple.

The time? It’s to do with the state of the mu­sic scene, and the cur­rent crop of per­form­ers who are stu­dents of, and re­spect­ful of, the pop mu­sic that has come be­fore.

The places? RocKwiz could only have hap­pened in Mel­bourne and in the Gersh­win Room of the Espy. No other venue, any­where, of­fers the same level of shabby-chic, or a com­pa­ra­ble ar­ray of rock ghosts and mem­o­ries.

The peo­ple? Brian Nankervis is the inspiration. He is per­fect for this, the job he would seem to have been pre­par­ing for by frit­ter­ing away much of his adult work­ing and lis­ten­ing life.

Ju­lia Zemiro? Again, per­fec­tion. Cute, but not so cute that she has never had to de­velop per­for­mance skills. She is tal­ented, sharp, funny, in­formed, ar­tic­u­late and lik­able. Cool, even.

And the con­tes­tants? Logloss Espy folk, quirky but or­di­nary, some­times shy, some­times ex­tro­verted, al­ways with a snip­pet of im­prob­a­ble knowl­edge all of their own.

The per­form­ers? The hard­won cred­i­bil­ity of the show means that no per­former in their right mind is go­ing to turn it down. Not that ev­ery per­former is asked, of course.

And the ap­peal? The mu­sic is re­mark­able, both as de­liv­ered by the world’s small­est (three­piece) ‘‘ orches­tra’’ and the guest artists with im­prob­a­ble duets.

And the hu­mour? It comes when you least ex­pect it. Such as tonight, when con­tes­tants are asked to sing part of a song con­tain­ing a par­tic­u­lar word. And one of the words is ‘‘ ly­ing’’.

So con­tes­tant Michael starts to sing: ‘‘ In the jun­gle, the mighty jun­gle . . .’’ Think about it. You’ve gotta love it. RocKwiz SBS One, 9.20pm

Per­fec­tion: Ju­lia Zemiro

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