Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 13 August 2016
The third of the Coopers Late Night Sessions saw Australian singer-songwriters, Genevieve Chadwick and Daniel Champagne, perform a set each. This was a great chance to check out newer talent on the music scene.
And talent it most certainly was.
Chadwick is a bluesy/country songwriter, with a gutsy voice, who is also able to shred an acoustic guitar. She opened with the powerful Smell the Rain, delivered with an energy that woke up the slightly sleepy crowd. That energy never flagged throughout her hour long set. Other highlights included Coat for the Winter, You Don’t Know, Adrian and the song she says never quite fitted onto an album: Wanting More.
It is easy to see why she won the People’s Choice Award at Tamworth in 2013. Not only is she a powerhouse of impossible talent, but she combines strength, humility and humour into a very personable stage presence. Excuse my corn, but she does make you feel as though she’s your bestie, sharing some songs with you over a couple of savvy-blancs!
After an interval-which was far too long for a late-night show-Daniel Champagne took to the stage. Champagne is unique: he can make an acoustic do things that blow the mind; he writes quirky, fascinating, unpredictable songs; he performs with a sprite-like stage-presence; he is difficult to categorize, and impossible not to love.
The bulk of Champagne’s set was original numbers, including Same Enemy and The Nightingale, both from his live studio album, The Heartland Hurricanes. But he also showed his extraordinary breadth of musicianship: in blues with Mark Knopfler’s Fade to Black; and in jazz with Chet Atkins’s arrangement of Don McLean’s seminal Vincent. Is there nothing this boy can’t do?
As a conclusion to these two incredible sets, it would have been fitting for them to do at least one number together, but sadly, that didn’t happen. Due to it being nearly midnight, there was a sense of urgency in clearing the house, and this put a dampener on the evening. These late-night sessions just started a bit TOO late, and were not helped by an over-long interval.
The Adelaide Guitar Festival continues to impress with its quirky, quality curation. However there were many issues this year with programming: too many shows clashed, or overlapped by just enough that it was impossible to see two in a night. Had the logistics been better, I, and many other music-lovers, would have seen several more shows than we did.
Let’s hope the next festival is not fraught with the same mistakes. And still delivers the same quality.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating (out of 5): 5