Sunday, June 22, 2014

HAIL TO THE KING Adelaide Cabaret Festival June 19-21 2014

June 19 - 21
Space Theatre

In a strange bit of programming for me tonight I see Hail To The King, four women singing Elvis Presley songs and then go directly to The Dan Band three men singing hits made famous by women. Take that gender stereotypes!

Hail to the King, is a straightforward idea, girls singing songs by one of the manliest men in music history. Not impersonations exactly, but personalized homages. Each singer does a solo set with some duets and cross overs. Stella Angelico is up first and enters the stage in a cape and sequinned jump suit with hot pants affair, that we can be grateful the King never favoured himself. She starts with Fever, the Peggy Lee classic (Elvis does do my absolute favourite version of this song) and then it soon become apparent that this wouldn't just be a greatest hits collection. Angelico delvers all these numbers with a shimmy and an Amy Winehouse twang. There are certainly classic Elvis Hits, but the selection of 'road less travelled' Presley songs like Big Hunk o'Love and Too Much, immediately impresses and gives this show a point of difference above the obvious. I am especially impressed with the inclusion of Devil in Disguise, the song I made my public performing debut with, lip syncing it at a Sunday School concert in a crepe paper cape with a gold crown on the back and cellophane stuck to my black national health glasses when I was 9 years old. A duet with Mojo Juju on the excellent Crawfish from King Creole is a sterling cross over. Mojo is wearing a pink and black jacket and is evoking the early Elvis. Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me, Hound Dog and Blue Moon all delivered with Presley-esque quiver and sexuality. Local girl Simone Page-Jones takes the stage in a black vinyl jumpsuit and her mums knee high boots and playful energy. She starts with Animal Instinct, a pretty obscure song from the movie Harem Scarum and follows that with another soundtrack song, the smouldering All That I Am from Spinout. It's Over and a raucous Baby Let's Play House are excellent. Special mention of the band must be made here. A tight little combo to be sure but the wild and authentic 'licks' from guitar player Felix Pattier are splendid. Simone introduces the fourth and finale lady to the stage and it is a genuine surprise that it is Christa Hughes. Ex-Machine Gun Fellatio, Cab Fest regular and welcome last minute addition to this line up. Wearing a full body gold lame jumpsuit that I imagine she just had in her hand luggage 'just in case', she rips up Viva Las Vegas, with Page-Jones before a cracking Trouble (also from King Creole). In fact all but one of the Hughes songs are from Elvis movies Little Egypt (Roustabout), Edge of Reality and A Little Less Conversation (both from Live a Little Love a Little). The non-movie song Long Black Limousine. Hughes has a loud and infectious on stage personae she is clearly the most comfortable performer on the stage. Her voice is bold and brassy but there are some liberties taken with the lyrics (I say liberties, but they may just been mistakes), but in the spirit such a fun show, this is a minor and forgivable detail. Everybody is back for the rip roaring finale of Suspicious Minds.

It's a fun show and there are late shows this Friday and Saturday night at 10pm.

Ian Bell        

No comments:

Post a Comment