By Lisa Clark
Last year as we came bleary eyed back to MICF from covid lockdowns there was one new name rising above the others, everyone was talking about Gabbi Bolt. It was her debut and she was wowing the building crowds. Odd Sock is Gabbi’s 2nd album of sorts and if you couldn’t get in to see her last year Gabbi’s back to show us what all the fuss was about.
The exuberant opening song “I got Nothin’” is very funny and fills the room with energy and expectation. Her lyrics are dense and packed with jokes so quick you might miss them if you’re not paying attention. She warns us that, like Seinfeld this is a show about nothing, and in some ways it is; it has no grand overriding theme or sprawling story to tell but through her songs we learn a lot about Gabbi, where her mind is at, how she sees the world and her politics.
Gabbi writes silly songs, and autobiographical songs, but her best stuff pokes hard at power. Gabbi is very politically astute, which is not surprising, as she originally came to the attention of the public through her political songs on Tic Toc during lockdown, when she went a bit viral. She has been embraced by the Australian comedy scene but in particular by the political comedy scene as a regular contributor to A Rational Fear live recordings in Sydney, she’ll of course be appearing on their MICF one off special too.
For added interest, there is an audio-visual element to the show, pictures and videos pop up on a screen, and it has its good points and bad. The screen is a bit small for people up the back, and can sometimes distract from the song, (who’s listening to her dense lyrics when there is a cute doggie on the screen looking at us?) and do I want to look at feet? No. But you might come specifically for the feet pics and if so, good luck to you. The positive side is that it breaks things up, creates a running gag for Gabbi and helps to prompt the audience in what she is joking about, though one portrait did not help me identify an obscure politician she references, maybe it was a NSW thing, there were a couple of laughs from more politically savvy audience members for that.
The opening song has a real Tim Minchin vibe and her closer “Love Song fo an Incel (I’d get on with Your Mum)” is reminiscent of Geraldine Quinn at her best, they were the night’s highlights, along with her stinging eye opener about Police Training. The song about her movie star crushes teach us that Andrew Garfield has made a LOT of shitful films, and Spiderman.
She’s certainly the best new musical comedian I’ve discovered since Jude Perl. Like her peers Gabbi is blessed with all the requirements of a top musical comedian, she can sing, she can play, she can write great toe-tapping tunes and most of all, she’s funny. In such a short time she’s come a long way, there’s still some way to go yet and I look forward to watching her grow and reach the heights she deserves. Look out world.
Gabbi Bolt performs Odd Sock at The Butterfly Club at 7pm every night!