Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reviewed opening night 12 September).

First impressions count. On entering the Club Room at Cabaret Club on Castlereagh Street (also home to the Masonic Club), one immediately thinks Classy venue. Classy set.

And it is a classy experience, a one-hour award-winning rock-cabaret show filled with songs about childhood experiences and journey to self-discovery and healing.

The title, Everything is Sh*t! is Andy Freeborn’s tongue in cheek way of expressing trauma, including a society that tried to impose a sexual orientation from the age of five. Do you have a girlfriend? Do you like girls? are some of the intrusive questions they had to endure. But don’t expect over-sharing; there’s plenty of healing too with songs about self-revelation, therapy and family reconciliation.

Freeborn has a very distinctive voice with plenty of showbiz charisma. It would be wonderful to hear their beautifully crafted lyrics more clearly where the music volume is more prominent. Some of the quieter songs in Act III offer more introspection and reverie, such as Baby Girl. It’s cute when they denote the ‘pink key’ on the keyboard. Little touches like these add an element of surprise and charm. Freeborn stares off into the distance at various points, seemingly lost in the emotion and memory evoked by their tunes. The audience is captivated.

The band (aka ‘Garden Party‘ residents) features Andy Freeborn (CEO / Creative Director / Lead Vocalist and Keyboard), Ren McMeiken (Creative Producer / Vocalist), Austin Hall (Marketing Director / Drums), Jess Ramsey (Backing Vocalist), Chris “Bouey” Bouhabib (Bass Guitar), Renae Goodman (Saxophonist), Alex Paterson (Violinist) and Alexander Andrews (Creative Director).

The band’s sound is distinctive and versatile, a little bit like The Whitlams and Tori Amos. Dare we say Sinead O’Connor too, with a buzz of raw honesty delivered with exquisite lyricism and pain transmuted into passion.

Overall, Everything is Sh*t! is raw, angsty, passionate, melodic and chaotic rock-cabaret that enables you to ‘moisturise your point of view’, giving you lyrical sweetness to nurse your wounded inner child and poetic rage to exorcise your demons.

Everything is Sh*t!, presented as part of Sydney Fringe’s program, is playing at Cabaret Club – Club Room until 16 September. For tickets and showtimes, go to

For an in-depth interview with Andy Freeborn about their show, go to

Image credit: Annabelle Radford
Video: Kindly taken with permission

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