It was always going to be riotious and at times risque. After all it was country legend Beccy Cole and her jazz-loving partner Libby O’Donovan on stage facing off in a battle of show tunes/opera v country at the Mayor’s festival dinner.
Who knew it was also going to feature a roll of gaffer tape.
There were gags about same-sex relationships (the pair will tie the knot this year, Cole told the audience) and they turned the Dolly Parton classic Joelene ocker by renaming it Nolene and adding some very Australian twists (at tryst in the back of a panel van, anybody?).
The performance on Wednesday night was before an invitation-only crowd which included Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson and Golden Guitar nominee, Travis Collins, on the outside balcony of the Ray Walsh building in Peel St.
O’Donovan sang I Will Survive, Cole fought back with 9 to 5. O’Donovan sang Let it Go from Frozen, Cole countered with “Way out West”. Then it was on. Mac the Knife, Redneck Woman, Yes Sir That’s My Baby. You Were Always on My Mind, On My Own from Les Miserables and I’m Not Ready to Make Nice.
Up to this point Cole and O’Donovan had both been fighting to keep their mini-skirts down in the wind gusts created by an approaching storm front.
They had also been making gags about their hair whipping around their face and streaming behind them as if a wind machine had been plonked down in front of the stage.
At one point Cole ran her fingers through her partner’s hair as if it was getting a blow dry and thanked her hairdresser for the “$700 hair do” that she had that night.
Read more about Tamworth Country Music Festival here
Then O’Donovan ducked to the back of the stage and came back with a roll of gaffer tape. While they continued to sing they each wrapped the gaffer around their skirts as the crowd erupted in laughter.
“You going to wear that to the Golden Guitar,” O’Donovan quipped to Cole. “Beautiful.”
By this time the crowd was in tears.
“We thank God for gaffer,” Cole closed out.
Beccy Cole and the Sisters of Twang, Blazes at Wests Tamworth, Friday January 26 at 8.30pm. Libby O’Donovan, Outback Room at Wests, Tamworth, Friday January 26 at 5pm.