Adelaide Fringe: The Idea of North – Ballads By Candlelight

AF The Idea of NorthThe 10th anniversary of Ballads By Candlelight played to a packed sold out audience in the beautiful cathedral. The Idea of North or TION as it is sometimes referred to still have what people lean forward to hear.

TION has grown on this occasion from a quartet to a quintet with the welcome addition of vocal percussionist Kai Kitamura. Kai gave TION a new dimension but did not detract from the woven tapestry of harmonic heaven delivered by the four singers.

Nick Begbie is the only original founding member of TION and although he seemed a little vocally weary on the night, still had the experience, knowledge, direction and light and shade moments that are the essence of TION.

It is clear that Naomi Crellin’s vocal direction, arrangements and brilliant pitch are the glue that binds the group together. Naomi’s alto voice draws the tenor of Nick and Soprano of Emma and bass of Luke, like a single breath split into four equal parts.

Luke Thompson provided the bass and whilst he was accurate, I am used to hearing him sing lead in jazz outfits, so it was unusual to see him taking the back seat. When Luke did step forward in his solo sections, his talent was obvious and equal to any other member of the group.

Emma Rule is up to the task as the soprano and featured in the Joni Mitchell track, Both Sides Now, from Love Actually. I am not surprised that TION has been around for 25 years and their recipe for success is built on pure vocal ability, combined with arrangements that envelope the listener’s ears.

My heart melted when they sang, Smile and their very different arrangement of Flame Trees. Favourite song of the evening was Not Perfect – which just happens to be on their latest album which I suggest you grab a copy.

There was a standing ovation at the end of the show, which was well deserved. I think that The Idea of North will be back again and again and each time fill every seat.

The Idea of North – Ballads By Candlelight
St Peter’s Cathedral, 27 King William Road, North Adelaide
Performance: Saturday 23 February 2019

Image: The Idea of North (supplied)

Review: Stephen Foenander – courtesy of All About Entertainment