'Sequins, A Brazilian And The Power Of The Sixties' presents two back-to-back stories celebrating the music of the '60s at this year's Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival.
Local performers Shelley Dunstone and Alison Kimber have each produced their own tribute to some of their favourite artists from the era. For Shelley, she's pursuing her love of Brazilian music with her show 'Lani '66'.
“It's the story of Lani Hall,” Shelley explains.
“She was the lead singer of a band called Brasil '66, which was a globally famous group in the late '60s and early '70s. Everybody had Brasil '66 records and that was the coolest thing around.
“It was a band that was formed by Sergio Mendes who emigrated from Brazil to the United States in 1964... He decided to get a couple of American girl singers into the group and the lead singer was Lani Hall, he discovered her in a coffee shop in Chicago and asked her to be his lead singer. That chance meeting changed her life entirely; within a few months they were global celebrities, they were on TV and generally living the dream.”
Shelley calls herself 'an escaped lawyer' – though she's something of a legal eagle during the day, Shelley found a creative outlet in the world of cabaret and has previously produced five shows for Cabaret Fringe.
Though Shelley masters an extensive repertoire of songs from various styles, she says it's Brazilian music that she finds most alluring as an artist.
“I've been addicted to Brazilian music for a number of years now,” she says.
“I discovered it as part of my entry into the cabaret world and started to learn a bit more about it. In fact, on television I saw the Black Eyed Peas perform with Sergio Mendes and that's what got me interested in Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, so I started to collect everything by Brasil '66.
“I find [Brazilian music] very exotic; I do love the rhythms and I like the words – I've learnt to speak Brazilian-Portuguese, and in Brazilian-Portuguese you can make very beautiful rhymes that make the song sound so lovely.”
In following her passion for Brazilian music, Shelley has become friends with Brazilian guitarist Eneias Raasch, the pair of them recording a number of his songs together earlier this year.
“Eneias asked me to translate some of his original songs into English, which I did and it's not easy to do, you really have to write a whole poem,” Shelley says. “I found I enjoyed doing it, so when he came over in January this year we recorded some of the songs and then he's releasing them on Spotify.”
As for Alison, her show 'The Power Of A Sequin' is dedicated to honouring her own musical upbringing with a guided tour through the divas of the '60s. Both Shelley's and Alison's shows will feature pianist Brendan Fitzgerald.
“Alison's show is about how she was inspired by the divas of the '60s,” Shelley says.
“People like Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark. Alison as a little girl loved listening to those songs and loved singing along, and she's going to talk about what those artists and what those songs added to her life as she was growing up.”