Live Review

Donny Benet, Workers Club, Melbourne

His style reminds you of a Las Vegas-type Elvis Presley, his music of Rick James.

Donny Benet is luminous in a monochrome suit made entirely of white. In his arms rests his electric guitar, on his face sits the eponymous handle-bar moustache that would put Chopper Read to shame. His style reminds you of a Las Vegas-type Elvis Presley, his music of Rick James. Each just small clues, that give wind to his slightly comical past.

With a year long residency at the Las Vegas Airport Hilton Entertainment Lounge and a lifetime as the son of a famous 70s accordionist, everything that italo-disco’s soloist Donny Benet – where the ‘t’ is, so aptly, silent – has to offer seems perfectly appropriate. It’s as if his whole life has been leading to this moment, to the dark stage of the Workers Club where he launches synth-laden debut ‘Don’t Hold Back’. Because, could you? After one look at the man who appears to be in the wrong century, the mass crowd he’s pulled, is hardly surprising.

You do, though, get the feeling everything about this night should be taken with a grain of salt. The lyrics are catchy yet harmless but mostly so obviously cheesy, see ‘Girls Of Japan’. But it makes sense. It compliments his suit. It compliments his ‘character’. Regardless, we are ultimately led to question his intentions. Is it a joke? Is it serious? He is after-all a self-proclaimed pseudo karaokist, so you happily settle for: a bit of both.

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