“Words and music are pop to opera, hymn to blues, kid to classic. But one possibility that somehow escapes either the spotlight or easy definition is the satirical song.
Cleverer than most combinations and more musical than many, it is fugitive, requiring instant translation of the topical and risking instant dating. The song with a bite is demanding; ideally, it needs live performance in an intimate setting before an audience with a glass in their hands.
Rise The Cocktail Party, a Brighton trio of singer-songwriter Michael Coates, soprano Jayne Knights and alto Cara Barseghian at the Railway Club, with sterling support from the alto sax of Evelyn Harrison.
Formed about seven years ago, the gang have attracted a following for close harmony singing and pastiche ballads, but most of all for their witty, irreverent and politically-incorrect lyrics.
Targets included city bankers, computer rage, the Royal Family, George Osborne and telephone hacking (arranged to Jingle Bells). Words – like the rhythms – are wickedly off centre. They need to be better known; democracy needs an alternative – musical – voice.”(Brighton Argus)
“Thank you so much! You were absolutely fabulous and all my guests enjoyed your performance hugely – so many have told me how much they loved it. I am so grateful – your group made such a huge contribution to a lovely evening.” (Kate S.)
“The Cocktail Party were really entertaining, witty and very professional.” (Steve C.)
“A delicious blend of harmonies, and a musicality whisked together by the hand of wit.” (Jevon M.)
“The album is beautifully put together, artwork super, and instrumentation impressive, what I now think of as typical Cocktail Party fare – witty, frothy, nicely cynical. My favourite is’Classical Music’. This is a gem – as polished and wicked a piece of satire as one could wish, and in almost every direction: that the piss-takers are themselves seriously accomplished classical musicians is a truly splendid irony, and the production from the opening oratorio pastiche to the ‘oh ye-e-eah’ finale is a triumph.” (Julia H.)