BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2019: THE HOT SARDINES at The Famous Spiegeltent
Reviewed by Fiona Talbot-Leigh, Friday 7th June 2019.
The Hot Sardines are an American Jazz band, formed in New York City in 2007 by artistic director, singer, and writer, Elizabeth Bougerol, and artistic director, actor, and pianist, Evan Palazzo. Over time, they have really managed to hone their craft and the last two years have been an absolute whirlwind for the band as they have performed at numerous international jazz festivals from Chicago to London.
They have released two albums with Universal Music Classics to rave reviews, and they achieved a number one slot on the iTunes chart in the US, as well as internationally. Such is their rise to fame, they spent more than a year on the Billboard charts and racked up over 20 million streams from fans in over ninety countries on Spotify. They also have a huge following on YouTube, which is where I found them some time ago.
Along with their distinctive jazz sound, think Dixieland, swing, and ragtime and you pretty much have an idea of what this incredible eight-piece band sounds like.
Their relaxed renditions of songs from a bygone era, produced a new and refreshing sound from such timeless classics as Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home. The Hot Sardines are Elizabeth Bougerol, lead vocals, Evan Palazzo, piano, Todd Londagin, trombone, Ben Golder-Novick, clarinet and saxophone, Beth Goodfellow, drums, and Ac Lincoln, tap dancer extraordinaire. They were joined by Adelaide's own Bonnie Aue, on double bass, and Josh Chenoweth, on trumpet. They were mixed to perfection by the Adelaide Festival Centre which just added to their overall sound.
Every musician is so talented in their own right and, as each song progressed, they each had a chance to shine, as Bougerol graciously shared the stage. With every note Bougerol truly captured the essence of jazz. She was captivating to both watch and listen to. Her natural ability to patter between songs quickly endeared her to all there and, in minutes, the Spiegeltent took on the feel of a much more intimate jazz club. Not an easy thing to do when the space was packed to capacity.
The time just flew past and the audience weren't going to let the band leave the stage easily, being treated to a wonderful encore of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, made famous by the Andrews Sisters.
This show was one of many that kicked off the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and The Hot Sardines were given a very warm welcome to our fair city. The band's success has come as a huge surprise to both its founders, who initially bonded over a shared loved of Fats Waller at a jazz jam above a noodle shop in New York City all those years ago. If the atmosphere on Friday night was anything to go by, I'm sure this success will continue for a long time to come.