Ghostboy with Golden Virtues & Emma Dean


My new mate, Andy Clark (we met at the Visy Theatre one night), is a ROCKSTAR. He sees SO much! If you’ve been to a gig in Brisvegas recently, chances are you’ve seen him there. So he – and I – thought he might as well be writing about his adventures. On Friday night, he was part of the sizzling one night stand at the Judith Wright Centre before GBGV left town to headline sets at the Adelaide Fringe’s famous Spiegeltent.

Ghostboy with Golden Virtues & Emma Dean

Judith Wright Centre

Friday March 2nd

Reviewed by Andy Clark



This Sold Out show by Ghostboy with Golden Virtues presents an extraordinary, full throttle, (sometimes confronting to the closed minded youngsters) yet exhilarating, entertainment extravaganza.  I cannot recall seeing anything similar since the  late 70s when I saw The Tubes on their ‘Mondo Bondage’ Tour and The Stranglers on their ‘Nic n Sleazy’ Tour. Wikipedia includes a comment in reference to The Stranglers that would aptly describe GBGV: “the band received a mixed reception from some critics because of their apparent sexist and racist innuendo”.

But tonight’s audience has been warned in the advertising of what to expect…

WARNING: Contains adult themes and psycho-sexual content
Recommended Age: 15+




The show begins in the bar area where The Gremlins interact with the audience through their own language of squeaks & grunts. I am encouraged to blow kisses to 2 complete strangers & then we escape into the theatre to continue this expedition.

The evening begins with 3 songstresses from All Hallows School by the name of Avaberee. They enchant & delight the audience with their beautiful acapella songs, accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. Some beautiful original songs entwined with covers of Justin Timberlake & Dizzee Rascal. I would pay double to see these girls compared to the Supergroup SLK.



I’ve seen Emma Dean perform about 30 times. Tonight’s show is as diverse and intriguing as any that I’ve seen before.  The inter-song explanations are both entertaining and personal. From the staccato of the opening 2008 song ‘Cocaine’ to the Grand Piano new song ‘Love Me’, via a theatrical rendition of Roxette’s “Fading like a Flower” with a dash of Lady Gaga, this was another memorable performance, right up to the concluding number, in which she offers “her Heart & her Bones & her Blood’ to her friends in her Last Will and Testament. Emma is not fading like a flower, but is blossoming more & more.

The Golden Virtues stroll onto the stage & Ghostboy appears in front of the stage and the Grand Piano and he begins the show with a beautifully illogical poem about “my ‘Mouth’ is not my mouth” and his ‘elbow is not his elbow’, whilst pointing to & flexing his knee.

He then proceeds to swap drinks around on the tables in the cabaret seating section of the theatre and he sets the scene for an irreverent interactive event.

Meanwhile The Golden Virtues wait patiently & motionless on stage. Skye is knelt with her inked back to the audience and with Avaberee hovering in the background after their transition from schoolgirls to ‘ladies’ worthy of a Robert Palmer video.

Then, as if from another planet, The Golden Virtues explode into life with ‘Rock N Roll Girlfriend’ from their 2010 Album ‘Enter’. Co singer songwriter Skye Staniford is (un) dressed in a white Basque & black stockings, whilst Ghostboy is in his customary black suit, plus a grey tatty tutu and a bright blue wig.

‘Hope’ and ‘Wolfish’ show the contrast between the vocal styles of Ghostboy’s brash dirty delivery & Skye’s angelic folksy melodies.

The Gremlins are invited onstage to perform a poem of their own, in their own language, which is quirky, quaint & quite intergalactic in this ever-changing audio visual extravaganza.

Ghostboy then gets (sometimes drags) female members of the audience to dance with other female punters and The Gremlins help their hands find the buttocks of complete strangers, which is mainly met with laughter and cooperation. However, soon after this alien interference with the audience, one front-row table of tattooed young ladies empties, as they voluntarily evacuate the auditorium.

A male volunteer is now required and Ghostboy sits him on a chair in front of the piano with an adult nappy on his head and proceeds to sing a rambunctious rendition of GAY BAR, whilst gyrating all over said volunteer. As the song concludes the willing participant waves his hands at his sides like he’s just finishing a Broadway show. Maybe celebratory hands or maybe a jibe at the AWOL girls.

As “What’s for Dinner” starts, The Gremlins set up a table in front of the stage to dine on potatoes, whilst frantically collecting the lights from all the tables. Again the performance contrast between the 2 singers is dramatic and magnificent.

Ghostboy has acquired a bottle of wine from a table and is sloppily drinking it with gay abandon. When the owners of the wine request their bottle back Ghostboy realises he can no longer drink, as he is now wearing a cricket helmet and so he just pours the remaining wine into his mouth through the grill of the helmet, to the delight of the audience.



Many of the audience stand in admiration of this performance for all of the last song and when it concludes there is loud chanting, stamping and screaming, but this brings no one back onstage until a  Gremlin strolls on to inform us, “This is when you all fuck off,” but we do not want to believe him.

Then Ghostboy appears again with a mop and starts to mop the stage and when he realises we are still there he also tells us, “It’s time for you to all fuck off home,” and we do, as our new Master tells us, with smiles from ear to ear and having all had a truly amazing experience.

I was ready for something between a Nick Cave gig & The Rocky Horror Show. What I saw, no; what I  experienced,  was way, way better than that. With the delightful Avaberee & the ever changing Emma Dean as well, this is a night I may remember longer than The Tubes’ performance I saw in Bristol in 1978.






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