If Camille O’Sullivan is the Queen of the Fringe, then her short run at the Assembly Rooms this year feels like a State Visit.
Performers who can fill the newly-refurbished Music Hall are few and far between. Camille manages this not only with the sell-out crowd for tonight’s opening of her run, but also with her enthralling voice and bewitching stage presence.
Featuring a set of old favourites and new cover versions from her soon-to-be-released album Changeling, Camille is at turns boisterous and sassy; at others the embodiment of the dark and fatalistic songs she so expertly conjures up on stage.
Coping well with one or two technical issues with disarming self-deprecating humour, Camille and her five-strong band put in a powerhouse performance: at times managing to make a room the size of an aircraft hangar feel like the most personal, intimate venue in Edinburgh.
Perennial crowd-pleasers such as In These Shoes jostle with the Weimar-inspired madness of God’s Away On Business, demonstrating O’Sullivan’s versatility as a vocalist. However, it is the more pared-back numbers which impress the most.
An unaccompanied despair-drenched version of Brel’s Amsterdam; a hypnotic rendition of Radiohead’s True Love Waits; an unbalanced yet perfectly controlled cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt: it is during performances like these where Camille excels; where her soul and passion are at their most open: and transferred straight into the hearts of the audience.
As Queen of the Fringe, Camille O’Sullivan may have inspired a host of pretenders to the throne, but on the basis of tonight’s outstanding performance, she justifiably retains her crown.
Camille O’Sullivan: Changeling is at the Assembly Rooms on George Street until 7 Aug, 2225-2355. Ticket details are available on the Fringe website.