Cabaret Festival Review: Southern Belles

Cabaret Festival Review: Southern Belles

The Southern Belles present the songs of white, country singers, such as Loretta Lynn, Bobby Gentry and Nancy Sinatra.


Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 22 June 2016

Nichaud Fitzgibbon’s opening belter, Silver Threads and Golden Needles set the tone for an evening of great music, delivered by three, outstanding singers. Fitzgibbon, Jane Clifton and Carla Lippis have pulled together this show, under the excellent musical direction of Clare Moore, presenting the songs of white, country singers, such as Loretta Lynn, Bobby Gentry and Nancy Sinatra.

The audience sang along to such numbers as Harper Valley PTA, Rose Garden, Joylene and Boots are Made for Walkin’. But some of the most outstanding performances were by Lippis, who confesses to preferring the darker work. Her version of Gentry’s southern-gothic classic Ode to Billy Joe was, for this reviewer, the highlight of the show. Also outstanding was Clifton’s I’m Sorry.

Joining Moore in the band were Paul White, Chris Parkinson, Tim Deane and Rosie Westbrook. They were tight and raunchy.

The only jarring notes in an otherwise faultless night were the fact that the room was only opened 15 minutes before kick-off and that the piano bar was closed. In a single-venue festival such as this, one would have expected better pre-show service.

I also found it irritating that the otherwise wonderful Ms Clifton chose to talk in a fake, Southern accent, and deliver slightly condescending intros to her numbers. If you are doing country, then, for the love of god, respect the music!

The show finished with a rousing encore of Delta Dawn, with the audience not having to be asked twice to join in.

These performers promised us things like big diamond rings, and they didn’t disappoint!

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Rating (out of 5): 5

Venue: Festival Centre Banquet Room
Season: 22-23 June
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: $34.90- $49.90
Bookings: Book online through the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or phone BASS on 131 246


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