When Clare Bowditch wanders on stage she’s very relaxed, and so is the next hour or so she shares with us.
With acoustic guitar she presents her first number, a new song never played in public before, tells a little about being a mother and then introduces her accomplished pianist — Monique di Mattina, who is fabulous in her own right.
A powerful song about rejecting love, ‘Sorry I Can’t Be the One’ and a darker number, ‘The Start of War’ are just a few of her latest that she offers, and they are good – very good.
Inviting us to sing along and pulling an audience member on stage to play her drum move things along nicely. “Send me love” she says, and we do… plenty of it.
Her own numbers have a competent stamp all over them and please the packed house no end, but for me it’s her cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ that takes the night’s cabaret cake. After a tale about her awe of the man and finally being his touring support act, she offers us a husky rendition of the number. And, for a poetic moment in time, she makes it her own.
It’s not hard to see why Bowditch’s ‘You make Me Happy’ is currently on the charts and it’s a great choice towards the end of the show.
This is light pop tinged with ballad and Clare’s voice with its far reaching range keeps us with her all the way.
She does tell a true story or two and offers just the right mix of chat and song to make us as comfortable as she is. We feel like we are friends of hers in her lounge room, and achieving that along with excellent singing and laidback storytelling takes talent and rock solid confidence – and Bowditch has oodles of both.
Clare Bowditch was at the 2012 Adelaide Cabaret Festival 8 — 9 June
More information can be found at www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au