All 9 reviews are reprinted here in full
2007 EDINBURGH FRINGE - "Insane in London"
Australian husband and wife duo Kieran Butler (guitar) and Michelle Wilson (violin) bring their folk inspired music and tales of their lives to the Fringe.
Starting off with Kieranís tale of nearly dying in South East Asia whilst back packing to his brotherís Christmas Day, the duo play uplifting songs of love, life, death and destiny. Michelleís folkish violin playing matches well with Keironís melodic guitar and their vocals raise your spirits. There are some genuine moments of anger, loss and happiness and these are reflected in the duoís wonderfully crafted songs.
The between song banter is inspired and humourous, and the whole show is a joyous occasion. Unpretentious, funny and with great tunes, this is a great musical experience.
They call their gig a "music weblog" - and indeed it is if we're talking about weblogs that leave you with a smile and a good song in your head. With their friendly banter and stories in between each song, this feels less like a gig and more like a social gathering, where our two hosts simply chat and then play a great tune when the mood strikes them. This is the sort of show where you can sit back with a pint and let both the chat and the tunes float into your ears. Which means it's a bit of a shame that it is being held in a stuffy room rather than outside for all the world to hear, where this sort of chilled-out show belongs.
2007 ADELAIDE FRINGE - "Around the world in 80 hours"
There must something about a duo named Whimsical Tricycle, and there is; quite a lot. Guitarist Kieran Butler and violinist Michelle Wilson are veterans of the Edinburgh Fringe and global travellers.
Best classified as original folk/rock without a drumkit, their music tells everyday stories of life, love, loss and travel, with lyrical style. Butler carries the often raw-edged vocals underlined by his rhythm guitar while Wilson joins in with occasional two-part vocal harmony, plays pleasing melodic solos, or weaves a violin backdrop to the song.
Their appealing patter flows naturally, sketching in background with natural Australian humour and honesty.
An autobiographical musical travelogue, Around the World in 80 Hours, is moving, humorous, immensely entertaining and unabashedly inspirational. Newly weds, Michelle Wilson and Kieran Butler are partners in both music and life. If you haven't heard or seen their duo, Whimsical Tricycle, do so. Together they make sweet, dreamy folk music with intertwining, warm voiced acoustic guitar, evocative violin and perfectly matched harmonious vocals. A sensitive and eye-opening documentary, Around the World in 80 Hours, is filled with haunting melodies, love, loss, death, fine musicianship and romantic grace.
It's an unpretentious, authentic, little gem that is certain to touch the soul. Butler's superbly crafted songs and emotive vocals lend an intense depth to an already solid musical foundation. Wilson's fiddle induces a distinctive mood that at times sends chills down the spine. Every original, smart, spirited, well-written song has realistic gravity and an obvious personal touch that tells a story of adventure or misadventure. Catch this remarkably spellbinding and engaging duo at P J O'Briens.
Rip It Up
"This show offers to take the audience on a journey "around the world in 80 hours". It actually only runs for one hour, but I could have happily stayed and listened for quite a while longer. The recently-married Michelle Wilson and Kieran Butler relate tales of their adventures overseas and at home through song and story. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, it is a very engaging performance. the music is enjoyable; Michelle's violin and Kieran's guitar proving a very suitable blend for this style of show. Kieran's songs are well crafted, intelligent and sensitive. He handles the lead vocals very well, ably assisted by Michelle's harmonies. A jolly good show..."
Folk music is a genre that can be kind of hard to
describe; you just kind of know it when you hear it. But if there's one feature
that is undoubtedly essential, it's having a sense of empathy with the
performers, of caring about the music that is so often based on their own life
experiences. With Whimsical Tricycle, a duo consisting of guitarist and
songwriter Kieran Butler and violinist Michelle Wilson, this is not hard. From
the moment they get on stage, you feel like getting to know them better.
The show consists of a series of very personal songs detailing chapters from the lives of the recently married pair, both good and bad. Each song is prefaced with a little story about how it came to be. Butler does most of the talking, and this is just fine; he has a gentle larrikin persona that comes across very well, and frankly his jokes and asides are better than the material of a few of the comedians I've seen so far.
The songs themselves sound, well, pretty much like a guitar and a violin played very well. The lyrics are a little on the simplistic, rhyming ditty side, but no worse for that. They sound like the perfect thing to listen to on a long drive, or to have on for a quiet night at home. This duo are certainly whimsical, though I won't spoil the story of why the show's called 'Around The World In 80 Hours'. Set in the very charming upstairs room of PJ O'Brien's, this act is something a little different at the Fringe and definitely well worth your time.
2006 EDINBURGH FRINGE
Edinburgh Evening News
WHIMSICAL Tricycle is a show that almost didn't happen. Michelle Wilson, one half of the Australian folk duo behind it, had a nightmare ordeal trying to get to this year's Fringe after being ordered to return down under from London to resolve an eleventh-hour visa wrangle. Her musical partner, Kieran Butler, was forced to issue a desperate plea for violinists to come forward when it became clear Wilson's hopes of taking to the stage were in serious doubt. How Butler would have coped with an untried partner we'll never know as, thankfully, Wilson finally made it.
Her vocal harmonies with Butler are an integral part of the show, which Butler has billed as the musical equivalent of a web blog. And that is to do down the touching and heart-rending nature of much of his self-penned material. Crowded House and the Finn Brothers are the obvious reference points for the duo, who deploy just an acoustic guitar, the fiddle and their finely contrasting voices.
Love, laughs, life and death are all visited in the space of the hour-long show which is built around the central message of the importance of living life to the full. This is a show not without its darker moments as both performers relive desolate and tragic moments from the not-so-distant past. But Whimsical Tricycle is still one of the most uplifting musical experiences on the Fringe.
I take it you know what 'blogging' is? Basically, it means writing your diary on a page on the internet. This show is, as Kieran himself puts it, the equivalent of a musical weblog, a number of songs he has written to describe some events - travelling with two sisters from Keri Keri, falling in love, a wedding - strung together with often humorous anecdotes from both Michelle's and Kieran's lives. Kieran sings and plays the guitar, Michelle plays the fiddle and sings second voice. The result is a good hour of touching, non-dramatic songs with a cheerful, upbeat sound that somehow reminds me a little of Barenaked Ladies; this is the kind of music you'd like on your iPod. Luckily they're selling cds!