The New Cabal are an Adelaide institution. The jazz quartet have enjoyed a residency at La Boheme that stretches back to 2009; and while their Wednesday night shows can be experienced outside of our festival seasons, they really do add something to the Cabaret Fringe program.
So, strictly speaking, does this actually fit into the category of cabaret? Perhaps not; I mean, there are no tassels here! But it’s worth remembering that cabaret is more than just burlesque and tributes. And if it does have anything to with the kind of skill in performance that elevates the artform and huge audience enjoyment, then The New Cabal delivers whatever the category.
The four piece are a tight operation but they can also play loose, offering up some fantastic solos, particularly from hirsute sax player Chris Soole. The pieces are a mix of originals and reinterpretations of past masters, highlighting the outfit’s versatility in their ability to play both with a big sound and with quiet, tender feeling. Lyndon Gray on the double bass is the most unassuming of band-leaders, chatting insouciantly with the audience between numbers and setting the groove with his urbane playing. Meanwhile Kevin van der Swaag on the drums holds things together nicely, displaying a great feel for the room and offering up the occasional solo, while Chris Martin rounds out the outfit with adept and sensitive work on the keys. The most impressive thing about The New Cabal though, is the way the four players work together, with the kind of connection that shows they are a band in the truest sense.
On top of all that, La Boheme is the perfect setting to enjoy a performance like this; the place is dripping with atmosphere and offers a extensive list of well priced cocktails, wines and beers. And entry is free!
So get on down to The New Cabal- every Wednesday night of the Cabaret Fringe (and beyond).
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor