From the very beginning of the show, Camille O’Sullivan had us in her palm, gently giving us her music, even though the music itself was often far from gentle. Her presence and her set were charming and so real; from her loving replacing of the plastic dinosaur onto the globe to her right, to the intense connection which she sustained between the audience and her music. Although she very much made it her own, her show was a love letter to Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, who she referenced repeatedly, and there’s a potency to their music which she played on, tapping into the emotional potential with immeasurable skill.
Indeed, it’s hard to write anything about being in the audience at Camille O’Sullivan’s show ‘Where Are We Now’, because it felt like an out-of-body experience. As O’Sullivan worked her magical storytelling through the songs, I wasn’t sitting in the underbelly’s Circus Dome, I was riding on a wave of emotion, feeling the tears surge in my chest and my throat. Perhaps writing that makes me a melodramatic fool, but it’s true, and when I awoke from my mesmerised trance, I had a sense of being purged or fulfilled.
It would be easy to write an entirely introspective account of O’Sullivan’s show, because it is really an experience; totally shaped by the viewer/listener. O’Sullivan is the stimulus but not the portal. Her voice is hugely versatile; she goes from soft, clear and quiet to raw and angry, with the same fullness characterising her performance. Everything she does, she does from the heart of her emotional being. It’s a beautiful thing to be part of.