FRINGE 2016: MUSIC – Adelaide The Songs – The Grace Emily Hotel – 3.5K

Originally conceived as a workshop and performance during History Week last year, Adelaide The Songs, sees seven local singer/songwriters coming together to perform their original compositions about our fair city. Each performer takes the lead for one or two of the songs, with various combinations of back-up provided by the others, both vocally and instrumentally.

While the team involved in this show is reduced from the original thirteen involved in the project, the stage at the Grace Emily was still very full when all performers joined in a song, so that at times one was concerned that they might run into one another. This lack of space also made the transitions between songs a little less smooth than might have been desired, as they strived to switch instruments, stage positions and microphone heights.

The musical style is predominantly easy-listening folk-rock, however the different composers and performance combinations help to add some variation to the pieces and to prevent them from becoming too samey. It also allows the stronger musicians to support those with less confidence. The combination of guitar and piano accordion was particularly effective in several songs.

The topics covered range from general odes to Adelaide, its design, its construction history and those involved in creating it, through to more specific songs about beer, jazz clubs, and local characters. These more focused songs are the most enjoyable lyrically, a highlight being “Tango” which looks at the various prohibitions that have previously been upheld in South Australia.

This will be a pleasant way for local history buffs and/or folk music fans to spend an afternoon during the Fringe; and if you like what you hear, a more extensive show has also been touted for this year’s History Week.

Kryztoff rating: 3.5K

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