Before his concerts, the legendary Belgian singer-songwriter Jaques Brel would be physically sick with stage fright.
Camille O’Sullivan’s renditions of his music capture that sense of knife-edge tension. One of Britain’s leading chanteuses, O’Sullivan made an abrupt career change from architect to torch singer in 1999, after a near-fatal car crash inspired her to start anew.
Her cabaret shows have since become an institution at the Edinburgh Fringe, re-imagining songs by David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Those songwriters have a shared ancestor in Brel: in the Fifties, his lyrical chansons inspired a new generation of Anglophone singer-poets. […]