Pickpockets and Rascals

This week on Something Else, we had Michael O’Donnell on the show to talk about his most recent project Pickpockets and Rascals which is melding together a sweet list of vocalists, singer-songwriters and musicians with Michael’s very own live orchestra.

Michael is an admirable character; not only is he just out of studying undergraduate music at UNSW, he’s also managing to make a living off his music. He gigs with the Sqeezebox Trio and Juke Baritone and the Swamp Dogs, gives music lessons, and organises events in his spare time.

This will be the second incarnation of Pickpockets and Rascals, which Michael originally started last year with a small handful of artists and an orchestra assembled from friends, connections and high school students (they’re free!).

This time he’s got headliners like Ngaiire, the Papua New Guinean born singer-songwriter who’s music has seen her tour with the likes of Blue King Brown among others, Olivia Jean from the voodoo and dark magic inspired Black Belles, and Ev Jones from Jones Jnr., a new-gospel/soul/hip hop group.

There are 6 artists in all, each playing a short set. Once the sets are done, each artist will come back on stage to perform one of their songs with the backing of Michael’s orchestra. Michael is not only the driving force and organiser behind Thieves and Rascals, but also the musical brains. He’s personally arranged the score for each orchestral number, throwing in elements of swing, big band and string-section harmonies, turning already great music into something extra special.

Pickpockets and Rascals will be on for one night only at The Standard in Darlinghurst on June 20th. Details should be up on The Standard’s website soon, or you can like them on Facebook to get info on upcoming events.

– Rhys

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