This year’s Cabaret festival has indulged in a little cultural cross pollination with the arrival of acclaimed and popular (former Adelaide) artist David Bromley into the program. This show, Brushes with Keys, had the two friends, Bromley and music legend of the 60s and 70s, Brian Cadd, teamed together – Cadd singing and carrying on while Bromley attempted to complete a large work full of some of his most iconic motifs – children playing.
Anyone who has seen Cadd at the Norwood Hotel will have enjoyed much of his repertoire and schtick before (Cadd himself noted this audience was like that at the Norwood ‘only with jewellery’) with the great song writer looking like an amiable man on the moon with his black gear, beaming smile and explosions of white hair.
Bromley’s endeavours near the easel seemed always to be a task too far for the time slot, despite every attempt to pad the time out by Cadd, but the artist, dressed in trademark stockman’s kit remained tranquil and unfazed throughout by those dynamics.
Nearly all the big hits by Cadd were there – Don’t You Know It’s Magic, A Little Ray of Sunshine, Ginger Man and so on – with one also off a new album recently recorded here.
The show hit peak form in the last twenty minutes when friends, singer Ursula White and guitarist Peter Grimwood, joined pianist and painter on stage with the finale also including Cabaret director, Kate Ceberano, complete with Salvador Dali moustache, belting out I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, Joe Cocker style.
To be sure, Bromley should not give up his day job to be a stage performer, though his story about the derivation of his children images was delightful and moving and Cadd’s self deprecating humour and seeming sustained enjoyment in continuing to play all his great songs will always endear himself to those would like to remember the 1960s.
With the duelling Svens on the roaming cameras beaming up on stage images to compliment old footage of Cadd and home videos of Bromely’s, a great and truly unique show was there for those who came.
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