Tuesday night saw neo-soul songstress Clairy Browne take to the stage at the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent for a one-night-only show as a part of this year’s Fringe. Backed by a three-piece band comprising a drummer, synth player and backup vocalist, Browne powered through songs off of her debut solo album Pool, released last April.
Browne oozed confidence as she strutted about onstage during her hour-long set, effortlessly moving from her sultry lower register to resonant higher range. Showcasing her versatility, Browne delivered fun pop melodies, lush R&B lines and soulful ballads with ease, attitude and style. Her vocal chops were enhanced by the harmonies provided by her backup singer, whose silky-smooth voice blended into the mix perfectly.
Unfortunately, with the Spiegeltent only a quarter-full, the bold and demanding personality of the singer was lost on the thinly distributed seated audience. Her sassy introduction to F.U.B. where she proclaimed that she deals with fuckboys on a daily basis demanded cheers of solidarity from angered women, but instead was met with an amused chuckle from the audience, largely comprising those from a 40-above age bracket who were content with tapping their feet and watching the show from a distance. As the performance went on, Browne attempted to engage punters by asking them to stand up and dance, which prompted less than a quarter of the crowd to awkwardly rise from their seats and sway side-to-side.
With the energy from onstage not reciprocated, it was a challenge to experience Browne’s soulful grooves to the dizzying heights of their full potential. The songstress would shine in a smaller venue where the self-consciousness of the crowd could be thrown astray, allowing punters to give the fierce singer the attention she deserves.
Clairy Browne performed at the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent on 21 February, 2016.
Header image via Adelaide Fringe