Adelaide cabaret artist Deborah Brennan’s latest show, The Parting Glass, takes us on a journey of love, loss and grief through song. Brennan’s Irish roots shine through in what begins as a romantic quest, and morphs into something far deeper and more complex.

The Parting Glass opens with the Van Morrison classic ‘Into the Mystic’ which sets the tone for the early part of the performance. Brennan goes on to reminisce about the ‘one that got away’ and the inspiration behind her impromptu trek to a little-known Irish island. The folkish quality to Brennan’s vocals a beautiful complement to theme behind her narrative.

Her performance, however, takes an unexpected turn as she draws an insightful parallel between lost love and the passing of her father in her youth. Brennan’s haunting rendition of ‘Fire and Rain’ was delivered with a raw, yet intense passion.

Similarly, her version of Colin Hay’s melancholic ‘I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You’ was heart-felt and moving.

Brennan was supported by a three-piece band, their musicianship an ideal accompaniment for the ethereal nature of Brennan’s performance. At brief moments, the band provided some lighter moments, but these also had the potential to distract from the mood of the show.

The Parting Glass concluded, rightly so, with the traditional Scottish song of the same name. According to custom, the song is played at the end of a gathering with friends, thus providing the perfect ending for Brennan’s tale. The intimacy of the venue, in conjunction with the honest delivery of her performance, made the audience feel like they were in familiar company; a toast of whiskey at the end solidifying the sense of connection felt within room come the show’s conclusion.

Deborah Brennan: The Parting Glass will be playing at the Gosse Bar and Lounge at Sporting Car Club SA until Saturday March 14th. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

4 stars

By Rachel Gould