Paris Combo

Last night Adelaide Cabaret Festival was treated to a celebration of infectious music, French style  There was an atmosphere of celebration and release as ten musicians played and sang a delectable smorgasbord of gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop and Middle Eastern rhythms. So infectious was the music that people danced in the aisles – no mean feat in the Dunstan Playhouse

Paris Combo was formed in 1995 with the partnership of singer/songwriter Belle du Berry and David Lewis, trumpeter and piano player. Sadly Belle du Berry, who was the lead singer and accordion player, died in August 2020 and these performances in Adelaide are, in a way, the present members of Paris Combo’s tribute to Belle. Her memory and spirit is manifested in their sense of camaraderie and enjoyment that reached out to the audience.

Singers Carmen Maria Vega, Billie, Aurore Voilqué (who also plays violin) and Mano Razanajato perform the songs that Belle du Berry had written. Songs that advise how deal with long term celibacy; songs that celebrate ‘the parts of Paris that don’t smell nice; songs of amour and songs that invite you to clap along, an invitation accepted by the audience. 

All the musicians were top class, but special praise must be given to David Lewis, who directed from the piano, and played a very mean trumpet, sometimes playing the two at the same time, and Potzi on the guitar who was a feature in himself. But, from start to finish the musicians all combined to create a wonderful energy and unity which drew the audience in to share their gift of music. 

Try to get there. Even if you don’t understand French, leave your dictionary at home. You will be far too busy watching the action on stage, enjoying the music and clapping to have a chance to open it. Besides, David Lewis in his delightful Australian way, keeps you well informed. 

Vive la France and Vive the Cabaret Festival which brings these great groups to Festival Theatre.

Cabaret Festival  Dunstan Playhouse 9-11 June

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