Well, here we have it. This is what happens.
On 17 June, Jennifer Kingwell showed her audience what happens when you make good on your promises.
Let’s get this straight. This is pop music. Backed by little more than a string quartet. And it was every bit as expressive and emotional as you’d expect.
Jennifer Kingwell is back. After a year of adventures, she returns to familiar ground. This time, however, it’s in a new dress. The Garland Thugs are out, and in their place is the Silo Quartet – a string section that dares to bring pop music into the chamber. And bring the chamber out to pop. They brought movement and colour to Kingwell’s originals and covers from artists as varied as Kate Bush, Sia and Tom Waits. And this was no stuffy classical recital – the quartet pushed the boundaries of convention and common sense. There were many in the audience who gasped ‘a string quartet can do that?’
As if that weren’t enough to enthral her audience, Kingwell herself added another dimension to the show. Yes, show. Drawing upon her rich theatre and cabaret background, Kingwell delighted and dazzled her audience. There were props. There were stories. There were costume changes. From the sublime to the ridiculous in the blink of an eye. Indeed, Skylashes was specifically instructed to keep some parts of the performance a secret. Last year there was laughter and nostalgia and riots and ancient myth and kissing and intergalactic love. And this time it reached another level entirely. The show swerved between being hilariously heartbreaking and being heartbreakingly hilarious.
Of course, Kingwell’s musical chops pass muster. Leaving her ukulele at home, she focussed on delivering a sweepingly expressive performance with her voice (and occasionally on piano). From bloodcurdling horror to pure unadulterated joy, from heaving darkness to sheer hope, Kingwell takes her audiences through the full gamut of emotions. Her musical expression and storytelling blend together masterfully.