An evening of new work by singer-songwriter David Kent, sung by Miami-based artist David Meulemans. A great collection of original songs, ideal for a cabaret setting, beautifully sung.
“Kent’s songs..a gift for the cabaret performer..Meulemans’ excellent diction and control of different vocal qualities served the songs well”
Reviewing this cabaret has been an interesting and unusual opportunity to comment on an entire evening of new original songs from a singer songwriter, as yet, relatively new to the cabaret scene. David Meulemans, fresh from Miami in his London debut, sings his British friend David Kent’s songs in the wholly appropriate setting of The Pheasantry.
The set opens to the lively title song ‘Welcome to MY World’ and Meulemans begins to tell us how the evening came about. He has a rich melodious voice and the audience, though small, were welcoming.
The two had met at the renowned Cabaret Conference at Yale and Meulemans was struck by the quality of Kent’s material. This show is the fruit of their collaboration. Meulemans went on to sensitively and subltly implore the audience to take him ‘Just As I Am’.
As the evening progressed, we were treated to an eclectic mix of material in terms of subect-matter, style and mood, and Meulemans’ excellent diction and control of different vocal qualities served the songs well. They were also greatly supported by the superb arrangements and piano accompaniment of Colin Billing.
There were many intriguing items on this programme, but songs that particularly stood out were the patter song ‘Delicia the Stripper’, which provided a nice contrast to a programme consisting of several ballads, the poetic ‘Extraordinary’, and ‘I Still Believe’, which has a pleasing emotional build.
It is not easy to play to a small audience who know nothing of you nor of the material you are singing, but Meulemans was able to win them over and the reserved attendees gradually relaxed. By the end of the show, one could feel their genuine appreciation.
Structurally, the programme would have benefitted from the addition of a few more up-tempo numbers, and those that were sung were well received. Also, the patter needed to be a little more concise and crafted. Nonetheless, we did get a good insight into both the performer and person Meulemans is, which is an essential element of good cabaret.
Kent’s songs are great for an artist to get his teeth into, well structured and with lyrics that allow the singer to interpret in his own way. The narrative and dramatic items work well, and his ballads work on a number of levels, making them a gift for the cabaret performer.
A great evening of original work, beautifully sung.