Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In 2000 I reviewed the Sydney Cabaret Convention and had this to say about David Campbell

"David Campbell is young, talented, charming and gorgeous and has just returned to Australia after a meteoric career in the USA, where he toured nationally and performed at all the major cabaret venues in New York. He has also starred in a Broadway musical, Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. David will perform with the legendary Barbara Cook at the Sydney Opera House for the Olympic Arts Festival in September.
Suitable for corporate? You bet. But get in quick, this boy is going to be a big star."

Also at that event I remember sitting with some people from Adelaide who were having a very good look at what Sydney had to offer. Then in 2001 they launched the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with great support from the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The Sydney event lost the support of the Sydney City Council and died after the 2003 event.

This year's Adelaide Cabaret Festival was curated by David Campbell.

I was in Adelaide last weekend and took to opportunity to catch a show.

The show I saw was Julia Morris in "Don't you know who I used to be". As she pointed out right from the outset Julia does not do cabaret - she is a stand-up comic. That said the show was still most enjoyable - a slide show with commentary on many misadventures and a couple of songs (almost) to make the show a bit more "cabaret"

After Julia's show we headed to the Piano Bar - a venue that was a lot more bar than piano. The act on this night was Mahalia Barnes (Campbell's half sister) with a fairly large soul band that filled the stage (no piano but Rob Woolf on the Wurlitzer keyboard was great).

In contrast this after show venue was larger than the regular venue used for the SCC - which was Sydney's Lower Town Hall.

The space is very awkward though as it is usually the foyer area to the main venues and I would say on 25% of the audience would get a good view of the stage. The biggest issue however was the audio - it sounded great in the area in front of the stage but off to either side the sound did not reach which meant that the punters seated there kept talking and anyone (me) who wanted to hear was hard pressed to do so. A few delay stacks would have helped immensely.

And the former Tin Lid? Great voice, nice stage presence, good band - as I said just a shame we couldn't appreciate it.

And sometime soon I'll spend a week in Adelaide to take in a whole cabaret festival.

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