'The Dark Angel' is this chanteuse's tagline, and tonight - in the nicest possible way - she's pretty quick off the mark demonstrating why. Camille is nothing if not in-your-face, but she oozes charm with it, whether whisper-croaking Jacques Brel crumpled at the front of the stage, stroking an audience member affectionately whilst sitting on their hapless lap, or pulling idiot faces and giggling. You won't see any other sex-symbol jazz singer exhibiting such bizarre behaviour, but then, as she points out, she's no ordinary jazz singer. A chanteuse of the old tradition, with a sense of mischief reminiscent of Piaf's, she inteprets dark story-songs from the old canon (Weill, Brel) and the new (Reznor, Drake, Cave) in her own inimitable style, traversing the gaps between burlesque, jazz, cabaret, rock & roll and high-art musical theatre and creating a seamless whole joined up with the glue of her captivating stage presence. Whether she's roaring full tilt with her powerful voice to a rocking crescendo with her band, or rolling on the floor waving 'These Shoes' in the air, or getting the audience to mew at her, what we're witnessing is a professional artist at the top of her game, with her audience in the palm of her hand.
The set is moodily lit and shrouded with stage smoke, furnished with sparkling dresses hung from the rafters, enough cutesy kitsch to create the slightly claustrophobic atmosphere of a showgirl's dressing room (or perhaps a bordello), and - of course - her massively talented all-male band (keys, upright bass, drums, sax, flute, more). The theatre is rammed with people hanging on Camille's every word - amazed to be so up close and personal with this star of stage (the massive Camden Roundhouse, recent international tours) and screen (Mrs Henderson Presents). Lucky we are indeed that this is happening in this intimate venue, as one suspects she could fill one twice the size. But we're glad she didn't - and that she's here chatting to her punters afterwards (even selling her own merchandise) rather than disappearing into the shadows as other stars might. She's on UK tour currently and will be in Edinburgh from the 6th - 31st August; if you can get there, you must. You won't be disappointed.
Find out more at www.camilleosullivan.com