Dark Songs, Funny Talk. Is that crazy?
Maybe. There are songs but when there’s a live show there’s some pretty funny twisted talk between those songs. What’s it like? Well, read this:
Richard Flohil, Promoter and publicist
Arlene Bishop writes some of the most intense, nerve-wracking and sometimes downright scary songs you could ever fail to imagine. And yet she is one of the funniest women on stage I have ever seen – she has a razor-sharp wit, a fine sense of the absurd, and she sees (and understands) a lot of stuff that the rest of us haven’t figured out yet. The darkness of her songs is banished by the fragmented sunlight of the talk that surrounds them. Now I’m told that she’s planning a Fringe Festival show that combines the music and the stuff she does between the songs (and which somehow make them easier to comprehend). If this is so, I can’t wait to see and hear it. Arlene is a one-off, a unique performer, a bracing writer, and a very, very funny woman. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel a little uncomfortable, and you’ll leave a lot wiser than you were before the lights went down.
Chris Finn, TV Writer
Arlene Bishop has taken the art form of ‘troubador’ to a new level. She walks a fine line between deep introspection and subtle humour with an equipoise unequaled. Many would say she’s like (insert singer here) meets (insert other singer here) but to compare her to any other singer/songwriter seems trite… it’s other artists who should compare themselves to her.
David Mackenzie, TV Writer and Producer
I saw Arlene Bishop jump 18 buses on her Harley Davidson once. Okay, maybe that was Evel Knievel, but I have on numerous occasions, watched her command a room with her stunning voice, artfully crafted songs and hilariously compelling stage banter.
Erin Benjamin, Arts Administrator
Arlene is like a delicious nanaimo bar. On top, the goodness of chocolate – clean lyrics, simple and pure music. A songwriters’ writer. Music that flips you inside out with dark and then light, and then flops you face first – wham – into the yellow stuff…heart and soul of any truly perfect bar. And the wafer-crumb base is what brings it altogether – her stories, her repartee, herself – the sweetness that is her body of work. There are layers to Arlene that maybe you wouldn’t think of putting together anywhere else – but in the most magical way there is, they all work. She, like the nanaimo bar, is a gift this country gave to itself. The ‘Next Stage’ should indulge – mint, mocha or plain… she is the best kind of original.
Dave Lang, Sound Technician
Having been a fan of Arlene Bishop for a number of years, I was genuinely excited to learn about her latest stage project. Her live concerts have always showcased her talent as not only an amazing singer-songwriter but as a true entertainer from the hilarious comments and stories that she strategically places between songs. The brilliant contrast between the funny interactive banter and some of what many may consider to be darker songs grabs the attention of the audience and creates a fun environment for everyone – always a great time! I look forward to seeing this new stage production and would recommend this to everyone, especially those who have seen her live concerts.
Peter MacDonald, Executive Director Ontario Council of Folk Festivals
Arlene’s snarky girlpop can cut a man’s heart out in a flash. Was the story in her last bit of banter really her own, or does she practice voyeurism on the side? It sure sounded like my life she was describing. Can she really be watching everyone at the same time?
Jane Harbury, Publicist and Promoter
Arlene bishop is one heck of a songwriter – achingly sad and beautiful songs, sung in her distinctive voice and just when you think you can’t stand the emotion being wrung out of you – she turns you into a giggling idiot with her quirky and off-the-wall sense of humour – talent and timing are everything and she has an abundance of both.
Marc Merilainen Nadjiwan, Producer, Songwriter, Performer
Arlene Bishop is terrifically entertaining and engaging! I’m always hanging on to every word and anticipating what will come out next from her offbeat mind