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Brighton Fringe 2015

Camille O’Sullivan

Camille O'Sullivan

Genre: Music

Venue: The Brighton Spiegeltent


Low Down

Camille has stunned audiences worldwide with 5-star dramatic interpretations of Nick Cave, Brel, Waits, Radiohead. Original star of La Clique – expect fire, ice and pure passion.



Camille has been doing this for many years, and I have seen her many times, yet still her performance remains fresh, vibrant and intimate. She is a sexy cabaret singer from Cork, wooing the audience with her wonderful interpretations of Tom Waits, Jacques Brel and Nick Cave songs to name just a few. A solo singer, she has in her band a pianist, guitarist and drummer, all of whom overlay some subtle harmonies when needed.

It is clear that the entire audience is in love with her, and how could you fail to be? She begins the night, gorgeous in a sparkling cape, her hair swept up into a sleek chignon, and by the end her black mane has come loose and she has donned a sequinned dress that is hiked up around her waist to allow her to dance and jump about with abandon.

As she explains to the small audience in the Speigeltent, these songs are full of characters she has fallen in love with who she brings to life with her wonderful, sultry voice. The emotion she imbues the songs with is palpable, and on more than one occasion you can see tears in her eyes as she sings about a lost love or estrangement.

In this show she pushes her style forward, using more electric guitar in the songs than I have seen before, and being a bit more risky and offbeat in her song choice. Whilst she usually warns the audience that she will cause mischief and that they must be prepared for anything, it was pleasing to see her pushing that even more, and bring some marvellously crazy elements into her performance that at one stage saw her crawling around the stage on her hands and knees wearing a donkey mask.

Despite the audience on the night I saw her being small, this in no way diminished the atmosphere in the tent. In fact, the wild and windy night outside, sucking and pulling at the roof of the venue, only added to the magic, intimacy and marvellous chaos of the evening.

Camille performs with such energy and verve, and her relationship with the audience is wonderfully personal and full of humour. I can safely say that this was the most fun I have had at a show for quite some time, and I don’t give my standing ovations easily – yet this time there was no question in my mind as I rose to my feet to applaud this marvellous singer and her fabulous band.

Song highlights from the evening included an absolutely beautiful rendition of Nick Cave’s Ship Song, a creative interpretation of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, and a wonderful finale (not on her CD – sadly) of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire. What I love about Camille’s concerts is that she weaves songs that she performs every time (the fabulous a cappella Port of Amsterdam and her ‘trademark’ In These Shoes) with new material that casts new light on and brings different meaning to familiar songs from other great artists.