He emerges from behind the curtain and steps, shimmering, into the fog. Sequins. Corset. Lightbulb wings. All pink haired and pink bearded. Jason Chasland transforms the room with energy and deserved confidence, launching into an hour of more song, dance, and innuendo than you can shake an oversized dildo at.
The show isn’t called Leather Lungs for no reason – this guy has one hell of a voice! His command of pitch, projection, and style is phenomenal. The most impressive demonstration of this was his version of Kristin Chenoweth’s "Girl in 14G", flawlessly shifting from opera singer, scatting jazz cat, and nasal young woman. This song alone is worth the ticket price.
From such family hits as "Everybody’s Fucking but Me", to a stunning version of "You’re the Voice", to an evidently natural channelling of Tina Turner, Chasland conquers every note, every intonation, every human sense with his capacity and style. Additionally, I’m thoroughly impressed with his capacity to dance, do the splits, and squat bounce around the venue in stilettos. Seriously, dem legs. Power and grace.
Unfortunately, the sound mixing was a bit off this evening. The clarity of lyrics was often obscured by an overly-muddied mix, making it difficult to hear what was being sung. Even leather lungs such as these couldn’t overcome an unbalanced mix that lost the vocals somewhere in the mire of the overly loud backing track. "Girl in 14G" was particularly affected, taking what was surely utter perfection and causing the audience to strain to make out the lyrics.
Further, this imbalance of sound was present during the storytelling between songs – I was frequently only able to catch snippets of tales being told because Chasland’s voice was washed out and hazy through the mic. While he was often a little out of breath and, thus, less articulate (and I don’t begrudge him that, given his effortful output) the mix should have allowed him respite by providing clarity and volume for his nimble banter during song breaks. I felt I missed a lot of the show's essence because of this.
This stunning voice deserves to be heard with clarity. By everyone. Hopefully, some adjustments on the sound production end of things will lift this show to the heights such talent deserves.
Leather Lungs - Son of a Preacher plays at Gluttony until 3rd March. Tickets can be purchased here.