Aware that I was off to a fairly inauspicious start, having never heard of Jacques Brel – a Belgian singer-songwriter for those in a similar predicament – I entered The Queen’s Hall with a slight sense of trepidation that was heightened as Camille O’Sullivan sauntered on stage through the audience, stroking and sitting on those within easy reaching distance.

I needn’t have worried.  Within a few minutes I had been swept away by O’Sullivan’s strange mix of theatrical storytelling and evocative vocals.  Each song is performed as a play, and O’Sullivan’s genuine passion for the music and its narrative is contagious.

Powerful, unique, and a little bit mad, Camille O’Sullivan’s Brel must be a perfect embodiment for those familiar with this very particular musical style, and for those who aren’t, it’s a weird and wonderful introduction to a genre that I found inventive and oddly captivating.

Words: Jennifer Watson

Camille O’Sullivan: Brel, The Queens Hall, 11-16 August, 10.30pm

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