Michelle & the Gentleman’s Club

Adelaide Fringe. Fox Creek Winery – McLaren Vale. 23 Feb 2013

For Michelle Pearson, ‘Michelle & the Gentleman’s Club’ marks her first foray into her own solo show, and what better place to stage that show than amongst the beautiful vines of the McLaren Vale at Fox Creek Winery.

The transformation of the Fox Creek cellar door into an outdoor concert and performance space was a huge success. A bit of dry grass didn't deter punters from sprawling out on picnic rugs and scattering around their fold out chairs to enjoy the concert.

Pearson covered numbers by various artists including ‘Proud Mary - Rolling On The River’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine’ made famous by Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone's ‘Lilac Wine’ (appropriate given half the audience were tippling a glass of Fox Creek)  and Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’. By far the most outstanding number was the famous Sarah McLachlan song ‘Angel’, during which Pearson and the orchestra were absolutely as one. 

Michelle interspersed her songs with a little bit of personal banter, and explained that the show is a collection of songs that are special to her; songs that have resonated with her through the years. Clearly the audience liked them too - it didn’t take long for some to jump to their feet and start dancing!

Vocally Pearson was absolutely spot-on. It would have been nice to see her really cut loose a few times, particularly early in the first act where it sometimes felt like her rehearsed perfection was holding her back. She really hit her straps in the second act though; when Pearson lets her personality really warm up and shine through she is infectious. A highlight of the second act was ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables in which Pearson excelled.

Although Pearson and her backup singers took to the stage warmed up, the sound tech took a little longer to get the balances right.  However once everything was locked in, the surrounding vines were juicing themselves to Pearson’s sweet sounds.

The whole concert was a wonderful experience, and coupled with the fantastically priced Fox Creek Wines and food made for a beautiful night out. Hopefully Fox Creek has a few more events amongst the vines like this one; I see great potential for many more great nights under the stars!

Paul Rodda

When: Closed
Where: Fox Creek Wines
Bookings: Closed