It’s easy – and forever fashionable – to cast one’s gaze back through the haze of nostalgia and remember the world to be a better place way back when. To believe that the streets were safer, the air was a cleaner and 256 colours on a computer monitor was more than enough, thank you very much.
In her new show Disco: The Vinyl Solution comedian/DJ Fiona Scott Norman sings from the familiar youth-of-today-have-no-respect song book but claims she knows why things went wrong: music. Nobody, she reasons, who just danced to It’s Raining Men goes out and glasses someone in the face, but the scungy electronica they play in clubs these days understandably leads to violence and a downwards spiral into entropy and mass destruction, or so the logic goes.
Disco: The Vinyl Solution riffs off that premise, which is a ripper idea for a comedy show and a perfect justification for Norman to share weird tunes, funny dances and slabs of stand-up. There are some random routines, including a couple of unusual YouTube videos and a skit that explains the history of Australia through the medium of interpretative tap dance.
Norman has a strong presence and a gangly, approachable charm. It’s an enjoyable hour but the show feels too contrived and the delivery not as smooth as it could be. Norman’s performance has a bits and pieces feel to it and lacks fluidity, but her self-deprecating style removes any hint of arrogance the material might have had and lends it an unpretentious, almost goofy energy.
Anyone broadly interested in music and old enough to share a grumble about today’s youth will more than likely find Disco: The Vinyl Solution a winner.