Camille O’Sullivan – Where Are We Now, Underbelly Circus Hub, Edinburgh
A genuine fringe star, Camille O’Sullivan can be found in an Edinburgh tent at most festivals, singing her red wine-fuelled, femme fatale covers of Jacques Brel and his spiritual successors. Her voice is astonishing, soft and powerful in equal measure, and she clearly loves her audience, who love her back. However, her success does not come from repeating the same tricks. Her show changes and develops with the times, and this year she reflects on global uncertainty through the songs of her recently departed heroes, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.
O’Sullivan’s performances are show-stopping, and she ranges across Radiohead, and Nick Cave as well as Bowie and Cohen. Her emotional commitment leaves her breathless at the end of Brel’s Marieke, sung mostly in Flemish. She delivers eerily prescient versions of Cohen’s The Future and Bowie’s Five Years, foretelling end times, but also finds comfort in the former’s perspective on the cyclical nature of turmoil. Then she sends us all back out on to the Meadows with a communal version on Cave’s Ship Song, slipping out to look after her CD stall.