RAW: Karin Schaupp and Katie Noonan – Songs From The English Isles – 3.5K

Classically trained and internationally renowned German born Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp combined talents with Australian pop singer Katie Noonan in a two person show entitled Songs From The British Isles at the Playhouse on both of last Friday and Saturday nights.

In it these attractive two middle aged women, Karin as a conservative blonde and Katie with a shock of hair that would have rivalled Cher’s in her heyday, brought us arrangements that stretched as far back as 17th century composer Henry Purcell and finished with rock writer Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill from the mid 1980s. These in turn allowed both artists to give their audience the full gamut of their virtuosity.

To be sure the show was a very pleasant evening’s entertainment, enjoyable in one of those ‘we could have sat there all night’ senses. But perhaps that was the problem. Being propped up on a couch at home, armed with a glass of red wine and listening to their CD reading a book could have equally sufficed.

For this reviewer, the arrangements, especially in the first half of the mostly lesser known, classical works, were somewhat homogenised. The lack of patter, again early on, to give context as to the who and why of the pieces chosen, how they had been put together and the thread between them (beyond perhaps being merely from the British Isles) was an opportunity missed to give the performance a greater sense of occasion. Whether it was as a result of a lack of confidence with the classical masters or greater familiarity with music of their generation, the Noonan / Schaupp chat did indeed pick up in the second half.

For those not as well versed in the classical and folk tunes, not that the copious advertising done in august journals like Rip It Up and dB resulted in a rush to the Playhouse doors of just about any street press readers who may have needed that sort of assistance, such additional conversation would have provided a result that no number of comfy cushions could have produced semi planking in one’s own castle.

Kryztoff Rating  3.5K

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