Fringe Review: The Black Sorrows

The Black Sorrows are one of Australia’s most enduring and authentic musical outfits.


Presented by Premier Artists
Reviewed 2 March 2017

The Black Sorrows are one of Australia’s most enduring and authentic musical outfits. Regular visitors to the Adelaide Fringe, they packed the Magic Mirror Speigeltent out on Thursday night. Headed by music icon Joe Camilleri on guitar, sax and lead vocals, the Sorrows consist of Claude Carranza on guitar, Mark Gray on bass, John McAll on keyboards and Angus Burchall on drums. Each of these is a fine musician in his own right, and Carranza in particular displayed some seriously good guitar. As an ensemble, they are a perfect storm.

From the get-go Camilleri gave it his all. And that energy never flagged. Moving through the genres of blues, soul, R & B and everything in between, the boys played with unrelenting joy. It was like watching some kids with their first garage band-except the standard was a thousand times higher!

Proceedings opened with I Love You Anyhow, from their most recent (and 20th) album, Faithful Satellite. The funky  Hold it up to the Mirror, moved into lyrical ballad, Until the Rain Begins to Fall, which appears only on the vinyl version of the new album. Jamming nearly ten numbers into their shortened set, they mostly played originals, except for a fine, rousing, version of J. J. Cale’s Devil in Disguise.

Closing the set, Camilleri offered us a choice of old, Jo Jo Zep numbers, and it was decided, by popular acclamation, that Hit and Run was the go. The Spiegeltent went off! Despite time restrictions, the boys decided to slip a last number in, with their beautiful, jazz-tinged ballad, Ain’t Love the Strangest Thing.

The musicianship never let up. The smiles never stopped. Camilleri looked almost blissed-out with happiness. The pumping, attacking, energy never flagged. The audience could have stayed there all night. This was less a gig, and more a revivalist jubilation meeting.

If you missed out, don’t fret (pardon the musical pun!). The boys will back on 19th May at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Rating out of 5:  5

One Night Only – Season ended



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