Presented by Caught & Spark Productions
Reviewed 9th March 2017
Adelaide musician Deborah Brennan has been paying tribute to the great Joni Mitchell for a year now. Refining and reinvigorating her show A Case of You, she is presenting a slightly shortened version for this year’s Fringe.
Tucked away in the quirky little Gosse Bar at the Sporting Car Club of SA, the packed-in audience were treated to Brennan on keyboard and vocals, Liam Garcia-Hardman on guitar and backing vocals, and Chris Neale on percussion and backing vocals.
In classic, cabaret style, a broad selection of Mitchell’s works were tied together with stories about her influence on Brennan, and the inspirations for some of the songs. These numbers included Carey and California, both from Blue, Chelsea Morning, Free Man in Paris and the eponymous A Case of You. For most numbers Brennan sang from the keyboard. Her playing was exquisite and the trio worked faultlessly together. Mitchell’s work is not easy to sing, but Brennan was more than up to the task, able to give us the delicate breaking voice in the high registers, and the guttural passion in the low. The set finished with Brennan seated out front to deliver the almost compulsory Both Sides Now. I would love to see her do more from Hijera and if she could find a tame double-bass player, then at least one number from Mitchell-Mingus would make this show complete.
This is a thoughtfully put-together and masterfully executed piece of cabaret. Some of the linking commentary could be trimmed a bit, and the Gosse Bar needs to get its air-conditioner serviced, but these complaints are minor!
Don’t think this is just for Joni Mitchell fans: it is for anyone who appreciates the art of the song-writer, and good musicianship.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: Gosse Bar: Sporting Car Club of SA
Season: 11th and 12th March.
Duration: 60 minutes