Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reviewed Friday 5 May, 2023)
If Edith Piaf is affectionally remembered as ‘the little sparrow’, then Emma Hamilton’s sobriquet would be ‘the mighty currawong’ owing to her powerful and unique voice that is as rich and resonant as our native songbird. An Evening in Paris at Cremorne Orpheum offered a magical night of music and songs covering the soundtrack of her French-Aussie heritage along with her trademark je ne sais quoi.
Hamilton, dressed in a peplum-layered ankle-length maroon gown accessorised with a sparkly headband and red accordion was backed by an oxytocin-injecting 7-piece band featuring her brother Thomas on piano. The set list for the night covered a range of styles and genres that entertained a large auditorium of avid listeners keen to reminisce about the “good old days” which Cremorne Orpheum is known for. Hamilton oozed old-school charm fused with Parisian sophistication as she powered through her set list on the night, opening with the upbeat Iko Iko and finishing with a passionately emphatic encore of Edith Piaf’s No Regrets.
Along with Non, je ne regrette rien, Hamilton channelled Piaf’s enduring legacy in La vie en rose and Hymne a l’amour in a tour-de-force of musical classics, including Can’t help falling in love with you made famous by Elvis Presley, the country-twang of Jambalaya by Hank Williams, and haunting La mer by Charles Trenet and Albert Lasry. Every song was a hit and showcased Hamilton’s impressive vocal range and accordion-tastic skills.
Paranoid, an original composition by Emma and Thomas Hamilton was a quirky crowd pleaser, along with the catchy Gypsy Song / Je pense à toi also composed by the duo. In the instrumental segments, the swinging big-band jazz sound of Caravan by Duke Ellington was one of many personal favourites.
Mr Hamilton Senior aka Ross Hamilton made a special guest appearance as Emma fondly recalled their days as a family touring group while she was still at school. Touring and performing is clearly in her blood, as well as her love of all things French. An Evening in Paris wasn’t just a throwback to Parisian culture from a spectacularly iconic era, but an absolute gift to revel in the moment of youth, vitality, optimism and romance.
An Evening in Paris starring Emma Hamilton played at Cremorne Orpheum on Friday 5 May 2023. To find out more about her work, go to https://emmahamilton.com/.
Full set list on the night:
Iko Iko – James Crawford , Rosa Les Hawkins, Barbara Anne Hawkins
La mer – Charles Trenet, Albert Lasry
Les feuilles mortes (autumn leaves) – Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prévert
For me formidable – Charles Aznavour
Champs Élysées – Mike Wilsh, Pierre Delanoë
Gypsy Song / Je pense à toi – Emma Hamilton/Thomas Hamilton
Paranoid – Emma Hamilton/Thomas Hamilton
Can’t help falling in love with you – Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss
Plaisir d’amour – Jean Paul Edige Martini
La vie en rose – Edith Piaf, Marguerite Monnot
Caravan – Duke Ellington
I can’t stop loving you – Don Gibson
Under Paris Skies – Hubert Giraud
Hymne a l’amour – Edith Piaf Marguerite Monnot
Danny boy medley – Traditional
Two sleepy people – Harold Arland
Jolie Bonde- Traditional
Jambalaya – Hank Williams
No Regrets – Edith Piaf
Image credit: Emily Palethorpe