To Edinburgh, then, for a weekend which was nominally about celebrating our wedding anniversary (Kwok, in Ratcliffe Terrace, recommended), but also nipping into town in a strategic manouevre from our South Side flat to the outer southern edge of the Fringe madness at the Pleasance, to see Camille O’Sullivan Sings Cave.
Surviving the kettling process that is – and to be fair, has to be – the means of crowd management in the Pleasance courtyard, we take our seats to see the dry ice rise and hear Cave himself intoning over the speakers. Natural, then, that Camille – a long time interpreter of the Dark Lord of Goth – should start with ‘God is in the House.’
Backed by a supple band of violinist/saw player, guitarist and keyboardist, Camille gave us a thoughtfully chosen set that, naturally, included a fair smattering of his best known songs – ‘Jubilee Street,’ ‘(Are You) The One That I’ve been Waiting For?’ ‘Into My Arms,’ ‘Red Right Hand,’ my personal highlight, and ‘The Mercy Seat.’ Both before and after ‘Stagger Lee,’ Cave’s savage, ultra-violent reworking of an old blues ballad, she apologised for it, saying that to see the light of Cave’s lyrics we also had to see the darkest shade. Having apologised, she gave it everything she had.
Camille is an extrordinary performer, inhabiting the drama of songs in a way that few can emulate. If she wasn’t perhaps on her top form the night we saw her, it was still pretty jaw-dropping at times: she finished, as she often does in other shows which are not exclusively Cave, with ‘The Ship Song,’ which ends with her, un-miked, the band, and the audience, singing it softly to ourselves, to others, but especially, to this uncannily talented chanteuse.
Recommended. Worth the kettling.
Never mind the adverts down here. You don’t need more stuff, do you?
Hi. How did you get to the venue? Bus? Were the streets and sidewalks super-crowded?
We actually got a taxi for speed – no direct buses from where we were. The Pleasance is set a bit away from other Fringe venues, but there’s a lot of acts on at the same time, so super crowded inside. The locals tend to just avoid the Royal Mile in August as it’s so overcrowded.