Cabaret Fringe Festival
The Jade
Until 16 Jun 2017

Review by Janice Bailey

‘The Jade’ on Flinders Street is a pleasant and atmospheric venue very suited to presenting musicians and singers. Special guest duo Orelia, comprising Chelsea Turner on keyboard and vocals and Troy Benson on drums provided the ‘warm-up’ with a mixture of well-known classics and originals. Chelsea Turner introduced their repertoire and demonstrated a warmth and connection to the audience. Unfortunately I couldn’t shake off my annoyance at wrong lyrics being sung to a well-known classic such as “You Don’t Know Me”.

Diana Scalzi and Ben Gatehouse followed. Described as ‘a 2 piece Indie Rock Opera duo, combining melodic keys, edgy percussion and elegant harmonies laced with honest vulnerability and experimental affinity’, their repertoire consists mainly of off-beat 80s classics – with many songs taken from Sade’s album “Diamond Life” and Simply Red’s “Picture Book”, with offerings from Kate Bush, Style Council and Peter Gabriel. The repertoire chosen was described as ‘reflective of the time and inspiring’. It was difficult to gauge audience reaction as, with the exception of a few, there was very little ‘grooving’ happening.

Scalzi and Gatehouse are excellent musicians and dedicated to their craft. Unfortunately, having lived through the eighties I have never been particularly inspired by the music of the era. I was also looking for some ‘flow-through’ storyline which connected and gave a reason to the performance – changing it from a series of songs to a cabaret event.