Review: Ghost Wash

This performance is “theatre”, laughs Tina Stevens, the “endurance” drummer. Together with John Willsteed, the pair reproduce the sounds of the 70s and 80s – drone, melancholic songs, fast angry punk songs – punched out with sound pressure effects.

It’s visual art and live music tied together by a story of Brisbane’s history.

The anecdotal quips from John, a natural storyteller, tie the songs into the story. Or is the story complementing the songs. Talking about old friends who have passed away from suicide and accidents, his voice breaks as he tears up. Heart-wrenching emotion makes this performance real. There’s nothing fake here. This is the heart, exposed emotions about Brisbane’s past.

The flickery footage of Brisbane – past and present – some familiar landmarks and streets of your town (there’s my Go-Betweens reference) are projected against the back wall of the Metro Arts theatre – a space that I think should be used more often. It’s a little world hidden away from the world despite being in the middle of the CBD. Images from what appear to be personal family footage mixed with footage of old Brisbane bands, cleverly pieced together by Tina herself, create a nostalgic feel and a yearning for the past.

The personal story between Tina and John make this intimate performance truly genuine. They compliment each other like what old friends do, they’ve shared history and together create something beautiful. A dedication and appreciation for this city that I love.

Theatre, music, whatever this performance falls under – it’s endearing, genuine, nostalgic and heartwarming. A ghost wash.


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