Cathrine SummersTall, willowy and elegant Cathrine Summers joined her group of ex-West Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduates in the delightful front garden of Lamont’s Bishop House. Strung with fairy lights and seated at small intimate tables it was a luscious late afternoon setting.

Clad in an asymmetrical lipstick-pink, full-length satin sheath, Summers warmly greeted the audience to yet another sold out show at this delightful venue.

To open the proceedings she began with a lovely blend of 2 standards from the American musicals songbook; S’ Wonderful melded with They Can’t Take That Away From Me.

One of her vocal strengths is her ability to drop a register when she interprets a particular song. Adopting a husky tone and a credible French accent Summers moved on to Petit Fleur accompanied by the wonderful Mike Collinson on clarinet.

The song list was an exercise in clever programming with the Latin classic Quando, Quando, Quando to lighten the line-up, followed by my personal favourite of all laughing, loving romantic odes My Funny Valentine.

To change the tone again Summers went for a ballsy “stride” version of It Had To Be You.

Here I must no longer delay in reporting the truly excellent ensemble work from Ms Summer’s Band. Brodie Stewart on keyboards, Zac Grafton on bass, Pete Evans on percussion and Mike Collinson on seductive clarinet and sax. What breath control!

Future gigs for this ensemble include tomorrow evening (sorry, sold out as was tonight) but grab your diary for Eat, Drink, Perth on 16 and 30 March.

After these numbers Summers again mixed it up with Mac the Knife, Let’s Fall in Love and the gorgeous Latin American seductive classic Sway.

My usual antipathy for scat was tempered by Summers’ cleverly arranged Amy Winehouse number, Back to Black. Often times sung introductory arrangements were used to herald a standard such as The Very Thought of You. To revisit them so well performed was a pleasure.

So were the understated solos by each of the backing band members. Very clever, but not showy, an excellent adjunct to each number.

Finishing on a high Summers delivered 2 Piaf classics with verve and received plenty of audience sung participation. Je Ne Regrette Rien and Padam, Padam, Padam.

2017 Perth Fringe World Festival
Cathrine Summers

Venue: Lamont’s Bishop House
Dates: 25 Jan, 1, 8 & 15 Feb 2017

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