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Canberra Today 20°/23° | Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Seeker Keith gets a burst of ‘Influence’

From left, Keith Potger, Moya Simpson and John Shortis. Photo: Elizabeth Hawkes.

JOHN Shortis and Moya Simpson are among the hardest working entertainers in the business around the Canberra region.

Last weekend in Braidwood I caught up with the first instalment of their series “Under The Influence”, nothing to do with the fine shiraz their associate artist Keith Potger is known for serving up, but a great deal to do with the musical influences on our performers.

In this case, the focus was on Potger, a member of the famous group The Seekers and now a proud resident of Braidwood, where he’s been performing locally and taking part in a move to reactivate the old National Theatre.

Shortis and Simpson, apart from being sharp satirists, are also whizkids on the history of popular music, so this was grist to their mill as they narrated some of the key elements of Potger’s life and joined with him in singing and playing everything from a bit of country music in silly hats to Potger’s first stage effort, “Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la” on-board a boat from his native Sri Lanka to Australia.

Simpson makes a meal of adopting funny voices and her range, which goes to extraordinary depths, meaning that she was able to cope with both Elvis Presley’s voice and Jim Reeves’ “He’ll Have To Go”.

But the astute Potger had spotted that she is also a fine song interpreter and he invited her at one point to sing his own number.

At 80, Potger is still a commanding stage presence and a mean hand at the 12-string guitar so this concert was a treat for music connoisseurs.

The second in the “Under The Influence” series, scheduled for late March, will be one with a difference, for how many people knew that journalist Karen Middleton is also a seasoned singer and satire writer? Further details will be available in the New Year.

In the meantime, there’s more, as the end-of-the-year satirical review, Shortis & Simpson’s “A Shot In the Arm”, a look at The Year from Hell does the rounds to both Smiths (December 11) and the Crisp Galleries in Bowning (December 18), where they’re booking out fast.

 

 

 

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Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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