Arts

Cabaret Festival Review: The Idea of North with Kaichiro Kitamura: Groove Sessions

As one of the most anticapted acts of this year’s Festiaval, a cappella sensation The Idea Of North were joined by Japanese vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura in Groove Sessions.

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 17th June 2017

As one of the most anticapted acts of this year’s Festiaval, a cappella sensation The Idea Of North were joined by Japanese vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura in Groove Sessions. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival boasts this show to include ‘voices of sublime sensitivity… arrangements of astounding intricacy’ and ‘harmonies of impeccable unity’, setting the highest of expectations. These five outstanding vocalists did not disappoint.

Recently back from a tour of Switzerland and Germany, the group have had a line-up change, with tenor Nick Begbie and alto Naomi Crellin (who also acts as the groups musical director) joined by Adelaide new-comer Luke Thompson on bass, and founding soprano Trish Delaney-Brown back after ‘the longest maternity leave ever’. Their exquisite blend could fool you into thinking this line-up had been performing together for years.

Their diverse repertoire reflected the groups longevity: everything from folk songs, to contemporary pop music. The session commenced with a medley of Michael Jackson hits, followed by a tribute to Australian singer-songwriter Jack O’Hagan, as the group simulated a jazz band, vocalising the sounds of trumpets, trombones and ukuleles. Demonstrating the adaptability of music, the group went on to present a breathtaking rendition of Cold Chisel’s pub-rock classic, ‘Flame Trees’, before combining the melody of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Music of the Night’ from Phantom of the Opera, with a comedic lyric about Alfred Hitchcock in ‘Psycho: The Musical’. The performance also featured the German children’s classic, ‘My Hat It Has Three Corners’, and Tim Minchin’s hilarious ‘F Sharp’, closing with the crowd-favourite, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’.

The Idea of North’s harmonies were faultless, and the blend sublime. Song after song, they demonstrated their aptitude and passion for their art, verifying their critically-acclaimed and world-renowned status. They also revealed their versatility, as they invited an audience member on stage to direct the vocalists in and out, and to adjust their speed and style on demand, giving audiences an insight into Crellin’s complex arrangements.

The inclusion of vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura added an intensity and a fullness that rounded out their sensational sound. In his solo piece, Kitamura also took audiences on his local Japanese bus journey, onto an Adelaide-metro train, and aboard a Japan Air flight direct to Adelaide, to audible gasps and rapturous applause.

This reviewer only had one criticism: the slow, drawn out dialogue made the audience interaction seem stiltled and somewhat uncomfortable. Ultimately, however, this was a minor drawback in an outstanding show.

The Idea of North, with Kaichiro Kitamura, was absolutely magnificent. Although their season at the Cabaret Festival was short, if you ever have the opportunity to see them live – grab it with both hands!

Reviewed by Ben Francis

Rating out of 5: 5

Season Ended – One Night Only

http://www.idea.com.au

[adrotate banner="159"]
To Top