BWW Review: MADELEINE PEYROUX, CABARET FESTIVAL 2018 at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

BWW Review: MADELEINE PEYROUX, CABARET FESTIVAL 2018 at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival CentreReviewed by Petra Schulenburg, Friday 8th June 2018.

US jazz and blues singer/songwriter, Madeleine Peyroux, has come to Adelaide to perform as part of the Cabaret Festival with her four-piece band in the Dunstan Playhouse.

Peyroux starts the evening alone on stage with just a chair, an acoustic guitar and her extraordinary voice. Peyroux, while born in in Georgia grew up in Brooklyn, New York, until her mother took her to Paris when she spent her formative years listening to early jazz and then street busking and well as playing with jazz bands in clubs. Her first song of the evening, J'ai Deux Amours, speaks directly to her two loves "my country and Paris".

Peyroux's voice is evocative, her delivery, at times, a poem, or a conversation with the audience. She uses it to paint pictures, be it bringing to life the bluesy streets of New Orleans, in New Orleans Hop Scop Blues, or a bee, making his determined way to A Honey Party.

While Peyroux started the evening as promised with several of her older and more well know songs such as Leonard Cohen's Dance me to the End of Love and Bob Dylan's You're Going to Make Me Lonesome When You Go, the energy of the evening palpably rose when she performed some of the songs from her new upcoming album, Anthem, which is due for release at the end of August. Mixing humour with compassion, the songs cast a poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. Songs, The Brand New Deal, and the titular, Anthem, being just two such examples.

Peyroux is by no means left alone on stage. She is supported by a wonderful group of musicians, comprising Andy Ezran, Boston born keyboardist and composer, who also plays a wicked solo on the melodica, Paul Frazier, bass guitarist, who has collaborated with the likes of Norah Jones and David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Graham Hawthorne, a highly regarded drummer and producer, and Aram Bajakian, guitarist, who played a series of often mesmerising solos, or in conversation with Peyroux on her acoustic guitar.

Peyroux moves between music genres and styles with absolute certainty. Her voice and delivery can be intense and sensuous, or whimsical and humorous but, at all times, human, infinitely human. When performing, she inhabits her music. This is not just something that she does; it's everything that she is.

Peyroux has a busy schedule. In addition to her two performances for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, on June 8 and 9, she will be in Melbourne to close the Melbourne International Jazz Festival on Sunday 10th then moving on to Canberra, Perth and Sydney for Vivid. Catch her, if you can.

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