Paris Combo is an exciting French quintet, led by the charming and sensual Belle du Berry.
The songs (introduced in English but sung in French) are mostly, as you would expect, about love, but understanding each lyric is unnecessary as the sound is what matters and these musicians create a wonderful variety of rhythms and styles.
David Lewis is an Australian who manages to play piano and trumpet at the same time and he had some superb solos – especially in a melancholic track where he played his trumpet slightly submerged in water.
Belle du Berry has a beautiful voice and she had the audience listening to every word. She moves with feeling and worked very hard to encourage the conservative Adelaideans to get out of their seats to show their enjoyment by dancing in the aisles. Paris Combo’s mixture of cool jazz, French acoustic with a Spanish or Latin influence, is toe-tapping rhythmic music that cries out for audiences to express their appreciation through movement: a few brave souls did, but the Dunstan Playhouse was perhaps a little too restrictive for others.
By the end of the night, however, everyone was either dancing, moving in their seats or at least enthusiastically clapping in time. There were moments when the audience was invited to sing out “Ole!” or sing along with the tune played by the trumpet. The band also played a few jazz numbers to give du Berry a break, with the solos providing an opportunity for them to display their incredible musicianship.
Paris Combo plays a style of music that is very appealing and the audience rose to their feet for more; this was the food of love and they would have been very happy for the brilliant players to play on.
Paris Combo’s season at the Dunstan Playhouse has now finished. The show was part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which continues until June 20.
More Adelaide Cabaret Festival stories and reviews here.
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