Review: Roland Stanbridge-Miles
"HE'S a fucking genius!!". So declares Louie Austin,
the smooth, white-suited, elderly crooner, of main man Chilli
Gonzales, the best rapper that Canada (in fact, North America)
has ever produced. He's right.
You know when you see something, be it a film, a place, or, in
this case, a gig, that completely blows you away, yet you find
it almost impossible to explain its brilliance to someone who
That's the situation I find myself in with Gonzales. But I will
try my best, both as a 'thank you' for providing such entertainment
for my measly tenner, and also in the hope that someone reads
this, listens to his music and enjoys it as much as I did (Presidential
Suite is the album to buy).
The show is set up as his retirement party. No need to worry,
I think it's more the end of one phase of his career and the beginning
of another, a bit like when Bowie killed off Ziggy Stardust, or
even Gandalf the Grey in Fellowship of the Ring.
You can't have a party by yourself, so he's brought some friends
along for the occasion.
These are: Peaches, the filthy fraulein dressed like a German
prostitute from the early 80s; Feist, an innocent looking 70s
child with an incredibly beautiful voice; two young male Canadian
rappers, whose names I don't remember, and the aforementioned
Each has their spell in the limelight, in addition to various
A couple of strange instruments also appear, such as a mini-keyboard
thing that you have to blow into (anyone know what it is? A free
tin of beans to the first person to write in with the correct
When not performing, they sit around a table at the back of the
stage, drinking celebratory champagne from plastic cups.
It's all very theatrical, with several costume changes, including,
fantastically, The Pink Suit, which is dusted off for a glorious,
pumped-up Take Me To Broadway. Sample lyric: "And
if I ever get there (get there), I'm gonna show my chest hair
No chest hair on the two lady performers, and they whip the crowd
into a frenzy by singing a feisty duet, positioned on speaker
stacks either side of the stage, so close the crowd you could
almost touch them - which one bloke tries to do to Peaches, using
Another settles for a close-up shot of her arse, which many people
get a close-up of as she crowdsurfs during her own electro-clashy
Back to the main man, who for his finale, shows himself to be
an accomplished pianist.
He tells us he wants to end with just him sitting alone on the
stage in an empty venue.
Some people can't resist taking the opportunity to jump on-stage
to shake his hand before leaving. Others hang around stubbornly
in the hope that it's not really the end. But, sadly, the bouncers
So then, Gonzales. Not bad for a man with three testicles.