Clare Bowditch

on 12 July 2011 in Gig Reviews

Clare Bowditch

Performing on 10th July 2011 @ Governor Hindmarsh

The incomparable Ms Bowditch has been quite active of late: she’s about to release a brand new EP and is currently doing her Winter Secrets tour alongside Lanie Lane; tonight’s performance is her Adelaide stop. This particular tour provides fans with a much more intimate and unusual show.

It may have been pouring down with rain outside but this did not stop Clare Bowditch from setting the stage on fire with a theatrical and musical performance like no other.

The evening’s venue of choice was an Adelaide favourite – the good old Governor Hindmarsh – but the Gov was set up quite differently for this show.  Upon walking in, there were several candlelit tables set up, and music from the roaring 30s being played. The stage itself was set up as more of a bedroom than a traditional stage, incorporating a velvet couch, deer antlers on a vox amplifier, a grand piano and, of course, many flowers placed strategically around the stage. All of these elements gave the Gov an underground 1930s cabaret feel, making you forget about the outside world and simply immersing you in the surroundings.

When Clare took the stage smiling, she was greeted by a large round of applause and screams from the considerable crowd.  She stated simply and appreciatively, ‘Good to be back’.

During her opening song, she sung at her crew, instructing them to turn the lights down and rework the sound mix as she was “sounding like Darth Vader”. Clare’s comedic interaction started the show in a very entertaining fashion, and would continue throughout the evening.

After addressing various stage issues, Clare got the audience clapping along, leading into an acoustic cover of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. The entire crowd reacted to this very energetically, joining in by clapping and dancing along. Claire continued with much storytelling, and often encouraged the crowd saying things such as, ‘If you can talk, you can bloody well sing’. The intimate nature of the show continued as she asked crowd members to join her on stage – a particular highlight was one punter singing with Clare for ‘Divorcee by 23’.  

Throughout the show Claire invited touring partner and collaborator, Lanie Lane, on stage for a handful of songs. The chemistry between the two Australian musical divas was very clear – often joking around with each other and simply talking between themselves as though there was no crowd. Aside from the strong personal chemistry, the two had an even stronger musical chemistry filled with harmonies and contrasting guitars. The two divas even covered the Bruce Springsteen classic, ‘I’m on Fire’.  

The first set concluded with Clare’s alter ego: Lady Bobo. Lady Bobo gave the crowd many tips on becoming famous, instructed on various dance moves and demonstrated the benefit of wearing two pairs of sunglasses.

After a ten-minute intermission, Clare was back and the crowd was naturally rather pleased to see her.  She continued the second set in a similar fashion, talking and embracing the crowd, with one audience member even joining her on stage to play drums. Throughout the show Clare passed around a folder and a pen allowing the crowd to write questions which she and Lanie Lane would later answer.  The second part of her show was filled with more of Clare performing her music, however this did not detract from the crowd interaction – one punter even pointed out that she had a wedgie. The crowd was also introduced to one of Clare’s special friends: Frank her touring teapot, who seemingly loved Adelaide.

The show ended with Clare and Lanie Lane playing a set of songs and, of course, answering questions from the folder she had passed around earlier. Questions ranged from what her favourite cereal was, to how she got into music, the latter such questions giving fans a rare insight. It was a treat to see Lanie Lane play a handful of her own tracks as well, as they were quite different to those of Clare. Perhaps a solo tour for Lanie Lane would be in order so audiences can get a better taste.

It is not often that one can witness such an intimate show with so much crowd interaction, making it feel less like a live show and more like one large interactive medium of loyal fans.

Clare Bowditch is nothing short of spectacular, enticing the crowd with her personality; her charisma and wit making it impossible not to be infected by her stage presence. Lanie Lane added to the dynamic of the show – her charm nicely accompanying Clare’s often outrageous and bubbly personality. It’s something that no fan should miss.

-   Matthew Mercieca

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