Culture Music

Camille O’Sullivan shines at Festival of Voice with her new show “Cave”


by Maxwell Modell

There is something uniquely beautiful about the love we have for musicians and their music. Over time they become some of the most important emotional figures in our lives, remaining prominent through life’s highs and lows. They never leave our sides, never question us and always embolden us. Yet, this relationship is entirely unrequited and internal. As such, it is something we rarely get the chance to express. In extreme circumstances, these relationships can be the most personal and emotional relationships in our lives. In Camille O’Sullivan’s performance CAVE she got the rare opportunity to express her relationship with Nick Cave and his music, never have I see something more personal and emotive.

O’Sullivan explored both the darkness and the light within the work of Cave, from the frantic and over theatrical to the sober and painful. Throughout she was a true show-woman, living every moment, drawing out every last drop of emotion. She managed to merge both her own personality with that of Cave to create a beautiful synergy. Her love for Cave was clear throughout as the emotions got to her and broke through the theatrics to take centre stage. The performance was about more than celebrating the work of Cave but celebrating the unique relationship that O’Sullivan herself formed with him and his work.

While all the plaudits should be given to O’Sullivan, her band matched her every step of the way. Their musicianship was flawless and very dynamic, working in tandem with a great light show to create the perfect atmosphere for O’Sullivan to thrive in. Considering the band were only a four piece they created a truly massive sound when needed, while also nailing the subtler moments. Multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson really stood out as a highlight, playing all manner of instruments from violin to saxophone to flute to a saw. Yes, a saw. The band managed to capture the spirit of Nick Cave while putting their own spin on it, performing arrangements by Feargal Murray and Camile O’Sullivan.

CAVE provides the opportunity to see Camile O’Sullivan as never before and performing music which is clearly very emotionally poignant to her. This makes the performance really special and far more than a sum of its very impressive parts. Whether you are a long-time fan of O’Sullivan or Cave, or a new to both I can’t recommend this performance highly enough, although I must warn it will most likely leave you completely emotionally drained.


Photography by: Jorge Lizalde Cano