Clare Bowditch @ Space Theatre, Adelaide (08/06/2012)

Kate Cebrano’s curated Adelaide Cabaret Festival began with Clare Bowditch onstage in an intimate Space Theatre. The set was simply filled with an arm chair, coffee table, grand piano and mic stand. Bowditch normally fronts an 8-piece band so Adelaide audiences were privileged with an acoustic set showcasing her raw talent and multi-instrumental talents.

Bowditch was bursting with excitement as tonight was the first time playing songs live off her eagerly anticipated fifth album The Winter I Chose Happiness due out in August or September. She introduced the album’s concept as a radical project where I tried to find what happiness is and where it hides. The new tracks showed this happiness and had such positivity that it was impossible for the audience not to smile.

A major part of Bowditch’s success as a performer is due to her honesty and genuine emotion shown on stage. She is at home and happiness oozes through every melodic run and held note, making the show feel like a big group of friends gathering in a lounge room, chatting and singing songs. She occasionally adlibbed during tracks as she needed to move something out of the way or invent some new lyrics for these brand new tracks that were only recorded days earlier. Bowditch moved between acoustic guitar, floor tom and tinkering on the piano. Halfway through one of her new tunes, she was unhappy with her own drumming skill so she tried to find a drummer in the audience.

The 70 minute Cabaret style show allowed Clare Bowditch to take the time to reveal some true stories. She spoke about many of her special career highlights, particularly focusing on working with her idols. She spoke heavily about the honour of supporting Leonard Cohen on his recent Australian tour, and having the chance to talk with him after overcoming her mesmerisation. Bowditch then treated this Adelaide audience to her triple j Like a Virgin cover of Cohen’s Hallejuah. The audience were awe-struck themselves as eyes welled up and goose bumps felt. Bowditch also spoke of her Eva Cassidy tour after which she sang a chilling version of Waly Waly.

Bowditch ended the night on the perfectly titled You Make Me Happy (as featured in Channel Ten’s Offspring in which Bowditch stars), which has recently reached top 40 on the iTunes chart to her surprise. Clare you have definitely made Adelaide happy and thank you for debuting your songs here.