Vincent’s Chair delighted their audience at last night’s intimate Sessions show with a collection of heartfelt stories and precious moments performed in song.
The accomplished Adelaide group, world-recognised for their captivating acoustic sound, filled the Space Theatre with new tunes and old songs, accompanied by special guests Shaun Duncan on double bass and Anita Wardell on vocals.
It was a special occasion, with the show launching Vincent’s Chair’s new CD, The New Vibe, featuring singer-songwriter Kathie Renner on keyboards and vocals, Karen DeNardi on viola, Sam Leske on guitar, and Holly Thomas on drums and percussion.
From her opening line, “Welcome to our little soiree”, Renner had the audience eating out of her hand, sharing engaging anecdotes and her own brand of well-measured quirkiness and inclusive humour. A tongue-in-cheek sharing of a dream Renner said she had the night before, where the audience spontaneously got up and danced, planted a vibrant seed!
All songs had their own appeal, with a number of stand-out lines such as “life’s too precious a gift to squander” in “Do Something” (from the 2010 release It’s Time), and “finally I’m comfortable, finally I’m home” in “This Room”. Adelaide -born, dynamic BBC Jazz Award winner Wardell, who lives in London, joined the band for a special rendition of “Travels the Road”, complete with angelic vocals and a spine-tingling jazz scat section.
“The Gift”, a song “for people who are searching”, began with Renner and DeNardi alone on stage, united in a powerful instrumental interlude of keyboard and viola. This stand-alone performance, supported by a stylish lighting change, induced a deeper connection, which was sustained by the incredible musical and lyrical expertise of these extraordinary musicians.
The new album’s title track, “A New Vibe”, continued the theme of two-on-stage, with Renner and Leske in a fusion of fun, “whiskey and Coke”, and a whimsical approach to a clear message to “follow your own dreams”. The joy and enthusiasm Leske expresses on stage is infectious
The individual quality of each artist is woven through the music, from Thomas’s haunting heartbeat drumbeat to Duncan’s grounding double bass. The smooth, casual mood created by the silky tones of this masterful musical synergy strikes images of warm, balmy nights around a moonlit pool or sipping a glass of red while gazing into the crackling embers of an outback open fire in winter. Whatever your chosen backdrop, listening to Vincent’s Chair soulful new album, The New Vibe, is sure to transport you to your favourite resting place.
To top off the evening, the dream of which Renner spoke at the start of the show was realised during the encore, when the boppy tune “This is My Time” lured four-year-old Maisy – a gorgeous little girl with long golden locks – to the floor, spontaneously jumping out of her seat to dance and prove that dreams do come true.
Vincent’s Chair performed at the Space Theatre as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Sessions series of summer live music gigs.
© Patricia Herreen 2014