Tuesday 21 May 2019

It's Not Me, It's Definitely You: Songs of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen - Cabaret Review

What: It's Not Me, It's Definitely You: Songs of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen
When: 20 - 25 May 2019
Where: Upstairs, The Butterfly Club
Performed by: Lisa Woodbrook and Josh (piano)
Lisa Woodbrook and Josh

Lisa Woodbrook is probably a name and a face you have heard before as the Channel 10 'Eye In The Sky' traffic reporter but her real skill is as a performer. With an impressive voice and more stage presence than anyone has the right to possess, Woodbrook is indulging us this week with her 2018 show It's Not Me, It's Definitely You: Songs of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen at The Butterfly Club.

When she is not being a TV presenter, Woodbrook is gigging around town with her own jazz trio. Knowing this, it is no surprise she is attracted to the music of these two great English vocalists. Luckily for us, Woodbrook has the voice to match her ambitions and is accompanied superbly by Josh on the piano.

Pairing Allen and Winehouse is kind of obvious. Although Allen is more ska and Winehouse is more Jazz, there are similarities in sound and lyrics which Woodbrook demonstrates as she takes us through her dating traumas. Yes, the topic is a little banal but Woodbrook has a lively face and a hilarious insight to her behaviours which lifts the show above the ordinary.

This show is not just Woodbrook standing and singing great songs well. Woodbrook is energetic and animated and, as good as the singing is (and it is very, very good), I started to eagerly await the in-between commentary more than the music because she is just so funny and not afraid to hit below the belt.

This is of course aided by the clever lyrics of Allen, with the classic 'Not Fair' amongst others. Woodbrook covers a lot of the hits such as 'Smile' and 'Fuck You' and one of the great moments for me was being reintroduced to the clever and on point lyrics of Lily Allen. I had honestly forgotten how sharp and smart her songs were (are).

And yes, we all know how amazing Amy Winehouse was and Woodbrook treats us to great songs including 'Back To Black' and 'You Know I'm No Good'. I admit to being relieved she didn't sing 'Rehab'. It has been so overdone and would have ruined the intriguing freshness Woodbrook was bringing.

There is really nothing to fault about this show. Woodbrook keeps it stripped back and lean, focussing us on her personality and the songs which, when you are that talented is a safe bet indeed.

Oh alright, I did have one little bug bare. I do wish Woodbrook had polished her boots. There. I said it.  I also kind of felt myself wishing the venue was a more traditional table set up because there is something about this show which really yearns for the casual elegance and sexiness of round tables and a bar to go with the red velvet curtains and the red hot singer. Maybe next time...

Do you just want a lazy hour of sexy songs and fun to wind down from work or wind up to a big night of partying? I'ts Not Me, It's Definitely You: The Songs of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen will get you there. (And I highly recommend this week's cocktail 'Trio of Sips').

4 Stars

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