cabaret: kim david smith - nova noir

kim david smith - nova noir
Every two years Kim David Smith returns to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with his darkly seductive alter-ego... this year he's back with Nova Noir.

In my two previous reviews I've described Smith as some sort of sleek jungle cat... but sitting much further back from the stage this time around I got a chance to observe him from a different vantage point. And I realised he's not exactly a cat, or not this time anyway... there's a stillness and a fluidity that isn't catlike.

Then during his mid show banter he made a Slytherin reference... and that's when I knew.. we weren't watching a cat... this was all snake. Sleek, slithering, seductive snake with fluid arm movements and occasional sibilant sounds.

Just like a snake, he has the power to hypnotise his audience. From the slow walk through the crowd at the beginning of the show to the fact that I don't think he moved more than a step from his mark through the whole performance, not even when he slowly spun up from the floor after taking a drink.

Smith is also a performer you never want to take your eyes off... not just because he's beyond beautiful to watch (and was lit exquisitely by the lighting gentleman who's name escapes me) in his tight white shirt, flowing black pants and half bondage harness/half lederhosen belt and braces but also because there's a dangerous, slightly deranged edge in his on stage persona... he commands your attention, demands it with every sinuous movement he makes... it powers him and he returns your adoration with his amazing voice.

Which brings us around, at long last, to the actual singing.

This year he's performing in the larger Banquet Room, which means that there's finally room on the stage for more than Smith and a piano, so he was accompanied by a pianist/accordionist, a guitarist, a cellist and a drummer which made for a different, fuller sound.

Given that I already own Smith's cabaret EP, The Tease and we've seen him twice before I recognised most of the songs straight away... he started the show with perhaps my one of my favourites, Pirate Jenny, which is made for him.

And while I haven't heard a lot of German singers, I would suggest that few of them could make Kylie Minogue lyrics sound as sexy in German as Smith manages to.

He also snuck in a song, Radio, from his electropop originals album Nova... and even that was woven seamlessly into the rest of the show. And there was a song I've never heard before, an 80's track by Toto Coelo, Dracula's Tango (Sucker For Your Love), which he managed to weave a little Kylie into at one stage.

Smith's version of Nature Boy (which I'm most familiar with from Moulin Rouge) was also hauntingly beautiful, but that is a song I adore.

If anything was missing from the show, it's that it somehow didn't feel like there was as much of that "popular song sung in an unfamiliar style and tongue" that I've enjoyed in the past. But the show is only 70 minutes long, and he has a lot to cram in there, so I understand.

Although he did manage to sneak a Shirley Bassey/Don Black tribute in there with "Diamonds are Forever" as one of the montages, so I can't complain too much.

Then he closed out the show with my absolute favourite, Bang Bang, which brought the house down.

As always, Smith was a delight... a sleek, seductive, sensational delight!

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