Mindfulmess - Rich Batsford

Higher Ground East, Art Base. 16 Feb 2013

Mindfulmess is a sincere and comforting one man song and music show.  It is an unsophisticated and unpretentious autobiographical journey in music and song by composer, pianist and singer Rich Batsford.  He explains ‘mindfulmess’ as trying to be more mindful about the world by cutting through the clutter and mess in our minds that bedevils clear thinking. 

Mindfulmess is deeply personal and Batsford bares his soul to the audience in a kindly and gentle way. We are left with no option but to enter his world, and to compare and contrast it with our own.

Batsford’s music is reminiscent of the minimalism of Philip Glass; a simple musical idea is presented, and then it is varied, and the variation is in turn varied and eventually the main subject is restated.  In some of his longer compositions additional motifs are “stitched on” and the process of variation and development continues.  In some respects the compositions come across as naïve but it is their simplicity which is their strength, and this is especially the case when he sings his own songs. 

He has a light and slightly nasal tenor voice with a barely perceptible vibrato.  The subject matter of his songs and his singling style are reminiscent of Peter Sarstedt who had brief prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Batsford’s songs, like Sarstedt’s, are a little sardonic, a little off-beat and distil middle class angst.

Batsford’s songs are at their best when the accompaniment is musically less dense:  when the piano accompaniment is less complicated, especially in the left hand, the simplicity and fundamental beauty of his melody lines are apparent and suit his incisive and brutally honest lyrics.

Kym Clayton

When: 16 Feb to 16 Mar
Where: Higher Ground East – Art Base
Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au