Camille – The Carny Dream

Camille captivates with circus-rock

Camille O'Sullivan

She has been described as the Queen of the Fringe, not surprisingly as the Irish singer and her band retain top billing in their 12th season in Edinburgh.

O’Sullivan’s unique circus-rock performance is driven by dreamy stories and changes of costumes, at one point wearing an animal’s head to prance around the stage like a female Peter Gabriel.

The music flips from raunchy guitar-heavy beats, to gentle romantic melodies. She is elevated by trapeze swing over the audience to sing “Is that all there is?” as part of a story from childhood when her home burned down.

Camille TrapezeIn her young days she also heard her sister playing the music of David Bowie which inspired her to be a singer.

Her set always includes a sample of Bowie songs, the best of which was a belted-out version of Five Years, bettered only by Prince’s Purple Rain, one of her other favourites.

Yet the most captivating was her take on Nick Cave’s The Ship Song and she appeared genuinely moved when the audience joined in.

Camille may be the Queen, but she’s no diva, captivating her audience not only in song but through the humility in her stories and the warmth she conveys to the audience.

Rating: *****

Circus Hub, The Meadows, 4th to 22nd August, 8.30pm

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