Storm Large – Taken By Storm


Taken By Storm

Brisbane Powerhouse & Queensland Cabaret Festival

in association with Adelaide Festival Centre

Powerhouse Theatre

Sunday June 14 2015


 Reviewed by Xanthe Coward







Storm Large is THE most incredible, powerful, most compelling cabaret performer you may never have known about. Well, perhaps you knew about her long before I did, in which case, why didn’t you say something?


A fitting fuck-yeah finish to our 2015 Queensland Cabaret Festival experience, Storm Large and her super slick band, Le Bonheur, performed a string of unique versions of songs by Cole Porter, Lou Reed, Tom Waits and Randy Newman, as well as original songs (Angels in Gas Stations, anyone?). IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE. It was a set list that made me wonder all over again, where has this woman been all my life?! Well, she’s been singing in clubs since the 90s and attracted some attention in Portland (that’s right, in Portland), co-fronting the “little orchestra” – you may have heard of it – Pink Martini. In real life she’s been through hell and it’s ALL MADE HER WHO SHE IS TODAY – an Amazonian dark angel superwoman singer, author, actor, speaker, playwright and cabaret star of strength, sass, sex appeal and powerful vocal and emotional all-in-take-no-prisoners-never-leave-an-audience-member-behind performances. I do wish I’d had her to help me get through my thirties.




Storm Large sings the truth and waxes lyrical about all sorts of subjects in between; her witty patter the relaxed, well-practiced-impromptu, political, crowd control stuff of a consummate cabaret star. Her easy connection with the audience (she knows we’re hungry for connection) means she takes us in the palm of her hand and tosses us from one song to the next and in and out of torrid emotions with the precision of the bouncy ball under a lyric. That’s not to say there’s no pause for reflection. She’s in no hurry. She can basically do whatever the hell she likes because ASTONISHING SUPERIOR BEING. She’s assertive, aggressive even, and yet she coaxes us too, whispering secrets that are clearly intended for each and every one of us.


A rock star storyteller nymph with powerhouse vocals and an epic personality to perfectly fill the space, I LOVE HER. I LOVE HER ORGASMIC CHANTEUSE ROCK DREAM RENDITION OF I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN. CHECK IT. REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT. And try to tell me your day your life is not 100% better now.




In complete contrast, the wickedly funny, toe-tapping original number, 8 Miles Wide (“that’s about 13.7km in Australian”) has us all singing along if we’re not laughing out loud, desperately gasping for breath. #pussysoundsbetter






Deeply satisfying original musical arrangements and Le Bonheur help this woman to soar, sure (another highlight is Hopelessly Devoted to You. Holy hilarious hard-hitting dominatrix stalker death metal torch song, Batman!), but it’s her command of the stage, clad in over-the-knee boots and fitted LBD, and her tone and vocal control that’s floored me. Ethereal Katie Noonan-ish top notes make way for devilish growls, just in case you mistook her for the angel she sounded like in the moment before a dark flash of smouldering wise woman wicked lightning.





If every aspiring performer could drink in a whole night of Storm Large every now and then, perhaps we’d see a real resurgence in the genre, rather than the current everyone’s-got-a-story-to-tell trend. Because she gets everything there is to get about seducing an audience and manipulating us through one of the best one-night-stands of our lives.


Let’s face it. We’ve been taken by Storm. She’s the slickest, smartest, sexiest performer of the Queensland Cabaret Festival cabaret scene. Let’s have more of this glorious storm, pretty, pretty, pretty please.





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