The Black Sorrows

Mar 06, 2015

A heartfelt ballad with lyrics that centre on a train and parting lovers; what could be wrong?

“Call Me a Fool” was, nonetheless, an unexpectedly slow start to an hour of music that ranged across Joe Camilleri’s near 40 years in the business. Even if it could have arguably been placed later on, it was soulful, and there was delicious variety ahead.

The band turned Jody Reynold’s old weepy, “Endless Sleep”, into an alternately vitally chirping and chugging tune with much more vitality than the original – more like an Eddie Cochrane number, and all the better for it. That was part of what Camilleri termed his project bunch of songs by dead people he liked.

The Sorrows’ celebrated standards got appropriate airing. “Hold Onto Me” stirred up some unsolicited singing from the audience, and “The Chosen Ones” featured some cheeky mission bell sounds from both the keyboards and second guitar at times. A highlight for the crowd was a gorgeous “Hit And Run” with Joe’s belting sax to the fore.

Camilleri, with his voice at full strength, raided the Hold Onto Me album again for an extended and hammering version of “Chained to the Wheel”. Vika and Linda Bull’s vocals on the 1988 original had sweetened the edge and they were missed.

How to end? Mr Van Morrison’s uplifting “Dark Side of the Road” was a terrific choice. It got a tear-it-up treatment with Camilleri singing his heart out and playing some wonderful harmonica.

The Black Sorrows, with Camilleri at its head, knows how to keep an audience wanting more.

The Black Sorrows performed one show only in the Aurora Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights.

Click here for more Adelaide Fringe reviews. 

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