[ADELAIDE PREMIERE ~ IRE ~ IF YOU LOVE… TO REMINISCE]
Dunstan Playhouse, Fri 14 Jun.
Bobby Fox comes on stage dressed in kilt, long socks, tie, and a shirt tight enough to hint at the muscle-bound torso within. It’s a curious sight. And curious is an apt description of a show in which Fox is at pains to tell us how important his Irish heritage is. Turns out Fox is an Irish expatriate who has been living in Australia for many years and a significant event in his life prompted him to refocus on his roots.
He apparently won multiple world champion awards for Irish dancing and his brief demonstration of the Riverdance style of tap dancing on steroids was impressive.
Modern arrangements of Irish classics like Danny Boy, Red Is The Rose, and The Fields Of Athenry were enjoyable. Fox plays bodhran, accordion and guitar with a band that exuded style and individuality and managed to avoid the cloying sentimentality that can sink these kinds of Irish classics. It is right and fitting to include unaccompanied material as part of a Celtic musical legacy, but singing unaccompanied is notoriously difficult. He does have an impressive vocal range but here Fox seemed less sure of his pitch.
The show was enjoyable enough. Fox chatted away between songs about his early years back in Ireland and his Riverdance days. All interesting enough but he’s no great storyteller and he lacked any memorable punchlines. His dancing aside, it all seemed pretty average and lacking in authenticity.
Bobby Fox – The Irish Boy continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at 7pm & 9.15pm until Sat 15 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image by Robert Catto