Proclaiming swing message
THEY may not be trying to remake the Rat Pack, but the talent and big personalities in Swing on This four-piece are certainly reminiscent of their suave vibe.
The Australian swing group consists of musical theatre leading men Michael Falzon, Ben Mingay, Luke Kennedy and Rob Mills, who replaced original member Matt Lee.
Falzon created the concept and the group debuted in 2014 at Adelaide Cabaret Festival, with special guest Kate Ceberano.
They will perform with WASO at Perth Concert Hall on June 16 and 17.
“We all just have a blast when we get together,” Sydneysider Mingay said.
“There are all the classics but we also swing some current, modern tunes which is entertaining and everyone enjoys that side.
“You can pretty much swing any song that’s ever been written. Who would have ever thought to swing I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers? It’s crazy but it’s awesome and one of our best songs.”
Mingay, who was in House of Bond, Packed to the Rafters and Wonderland, said Swing on This was liberating after playing dramatic roles, although sometimes the lads got in trouble for going off-script.
“We’ll get up there in our nice suits and drink whiskey but what we’ve realised is that with the amount of personality and ego on stage, it’s important to keep a lid on things,” Mingay said.
“We really do have to rein each other in sometimes but I think it makes for the spontaneous nature of the show.
“The audience gets involved because it’s such an assault on the senses straight out of the gate with all the banter, movement and dancing.”
Trained at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Mingay has further surprising talents, including having worked as a stunt driver and being a certified fire breather.
“Back when I did Hair the Musical they were going to get a fire breather in to breathe fire towards the end of the first act before everyone gets nude,” he said.
“I had done it before at a party, obviously not legitimately, so I put my hand up and said if they got someone in to train and certify me, I’d be happy to do it eight shows a week.”
Ben Mingay, Michael Falzon, Luke Kennedy and Rob Mills.