Write a Song About My Life

Gavin Friday Gavin Friday
with The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group
The Starfish Room
Vancouver, B.C.
April 1, 1996

Review by Daniel Ewacha
Photography by Rodney Gitzel

Quite simply, Gavin Friday waltzed into the Starfish Room, grabbed the crowd of 120 people by the throat and proceeded to take us all for a two hour erotic and ominous roller-coaster ride that left people holding on for dear life. He then just as easily waltzed out, proving to be as mystical and enchanting as the land from which he hails, Ireland. Dublin, to be more precise. But, the question still remains to be answered: Who is Gavin Friday?

Well, up to showtime I knew him as the ex-lead vocalist and controversial frontman for the Virgin Prunes, a post-punk rock band of the early '80s. And his Starfish performance left me, and I'm sure everyone else in the room, quite bewildered, not to mention exhausted.

Armed with a rhinestone-encrusted megaphone and enough charisma and swagger to make Liberace roll over in his grave and David Bowie hide his head in shame, Mr. Friday provided a show Gavin Friday and his Rhinestone Megaphone filled with multiple personalities. These memorable characters ranged from a bored, under-sexed housewife who -- I kid you not -- made a cup of hot tea on stage, to an exuberant cross-dresser known as Mr. Pussy ("Poo-say"), whom Friday immortalized in a song "twenty-five years long."

Performing songs off his CD, Shag Tobacco, he gave us a sense of hope, discomfort, and a dose of much needed reality, which, unfortunately, was greeted by some in the audience with laughter and sub-humourous quips, presumably by those persons who obviously did not understand fully what he was up to. However, it is possible that, indeed, that could have very well been Mr. Friday's intent, as a sense of humour is necessary to attend his shows.

To try and explain or draw a picture describing all that took place on this April Fools' Day show is a very difficult, if not downright impossible task, and I hope I have at least partially succeeded. But I will say this: Gavin Friday has proven to be one of the greater performers in music today and the only fools in the city of Vancouver April first were those people who did not attend this show.

The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group Opening the evening was the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group. Although lacking any kind of stage activity, the band enticed the crowd with their catchy, relaxing, precise tunes, making the Jazz Butcher smile with pride. This Gilligan look-a-like and his beatnik friends offered the audience the perfect start to the evening by disguising what was to follow. The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group -- commit their name to memory because you will be hearing from them again and again.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 11, 1996

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