BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2019: DAMI IM - MY LIFE IN SONGS at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2019: DAMI IM - MY LIFE IN SONGS at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival CentreReviewed by Fiona Talbot-Leigh, Thursday 13th June 2019

Australian singer songwriter Dami Im brings a touch of class to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with her show, Dami Im - My life in Songs.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Im began learning the piano at the age of five and, when she was 9 years old, she moved to Australia with her family. In South Korea, it's very common for children to be taught music and so Im never really felt special or celebrated until she reached our shores.

Im shot to fame in 2013 after winning that year's season of The X Factor and, unlike many other winners before her, Im's star has continued to rise. Already an award winner in her own right before the TV show, post-win, the accolades kept coming and Im began producing albums that reached high on the charts. Each album further ensconced her in the music world as more people took note of her. Then, in 2016, Im was announced as the Australian representative for the Eurovision song contest. She entered with the Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci's song, Sound of Silence. Her performance at the contest, along with the dress she wore, was sensational, and she did Australia proud, proving that she was more than worthy of sharing that big international stage. Im came second to Russia in a controversial win that year.

Since then, she has continued to write songs, make albums, and tour, showing no signs of slowing down. With this particular show, we get a rare insight into her life as she does exactly as the title says, sharing her life through song.

Im stepped out onto the stage singing Mariah Carey's Hero which, in my opinion, is no small feat. Im took the song in her stride and spectacularly made it her own. For the next 90 minutes she opened up to the audience about her life. Through this show Im wants to put things right with showing the world who she really is and moving further away from the produced version of herself which was first presented post X Factor.

For her second number, Im performed a rousing classical piano piece, showing that she is more than just a voice and giving us a rare insight into the young girl who once thought she would grow up to be a concert pianist.

Throughout the evening, Im showed that she is completely at home in many genres of music ranging from classical, to jazz, cabaret, and rock. Backed by four talented musicians, referrd to only by their first names, Im was well and truly supported, their harmonies complementing Im's voice beautifully in many of the numbers. Her band members were Michael, musical director and keyboard, Joey, lead guitar, Steven, drums, and Bobby, bass guitar.

Im really poured her heart into every song she sang. But it was her original songs Little John, and Dreamer, where her soul was completely laid bare. Im's voice has the capacity to lift you up and take you elsewhere. She has the ability to connect to others through her music and she is on a mission to do so.

In just six years, Australia has seen this shy, awkward young girl, mature into a beautifully relaxed woman who is very comfortable in her own skin. Im knows who she is now and what she wants from life.

To share this evening with Dami Im in the intimate space of the Dunstan Playhouse was very special. The audience got far more than they bargained for. Im didn't disappoint and would have been left in no doubt of how Adelaide felt about her.

Photo: Peter Brew-Bevan

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