ED2013 3/5 Reviews ED2013 Music Reviews

Peter Straker’s Brel (Peter Straker)

By | Published on Saturday 31 August 2013

With an extensive background in musical theatre, Peter Straker is a charismatic and committed performer who injects startling intensity into this retrospective of the songs of Jacques Brel. An occasionally strained mix of potted biography and tribute act, the show combines archive footage of Brel with Straker’s highly theatrical singing. He has an enormous voice capable of great delicacy or vivacious full-throated roars in the style of Brian Blessed, which gives these covers a harsher edge than the originals. A solid guitar-keys-double bass trio rounds out the sound, providing a moody, jazzy background for the raucous music. While these new arrangements might sit uneasily with Brel purists, there’s no denying they’re pulled off with swagger and style.

Assembly Checkpoint, until 26 Aug, 4.55pm
tw rating 3/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]