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Review: The Idea of North - Groove Sessions

Cabaret Festival

Popular a cappella group The Idea of North was joined by impressive vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival show Groove Sessions.

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The four singers create a pure sound and are comfortable with performing in a range of styles: a German folk song, Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”, jazz standards and Tim Minchin’sF Sharp” all contributed to a varied and noteworthy concert.

After a few songs, Kitamura took the stage, performing a tremendous drum solo without a kit and then entertaining us with his ability to do vocal impressions of vacuum cleaners, washing machines and jet planes.

Soprano Trish Delaney-Brown, a founding member of The Idea of North who has rejoined the group for these concerts, had some superb solos and tenor. Nick Begbie, also an original member, sang superbly and provided some welcome comedy – a performance of the story of Hitchcock’s Psycho to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber was particularly well received.

As well as singing beautifully, all members of the ensemble use their voices to take the place of trombones, trumpets and violins; the sound is so full your senses are fooled into believing there is a backing band on stage.

Local alto Naomi Crellin, who writes and arranges some of the group’s material, has an excellent and stylish presence on stage. We were given an insight into the way The Idea of North create their arrangements when an audience member was asked to “conduct” one of their songs and everyone participated in a four-part harmony interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”.

The group’s version of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” was brilliant and a well-deserved encore allowed bass singer Luke Thompson to perform an impressive double bass solo.

In concert, The Idea of North is an absolute joy, creating a series of sounds that will remain with audiences long after the final notes have faded.

The Idea of North and Kaichiro Kitamura performed at the Dunstan Playhouse for one night only as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. See more Adelaide Cabaret Festival reviews and previews here.

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