La Bohème, Wed 17 Feb
A snappily-dressed Pete Saunders sits at his piano and starts playing for the rapidly filling La Bohème audience. He plays some introductory pieces while the stragglers enter and get settled; his foray into a blues-infused Coronation Street theme is a nice touch.
Saunders, a polished veteran of London’s burlesque scene, is disarming while appearing to be mildly uncertain about what is to come this evening. Of course, this is all part of the show and the next hour is nothing short of brilliant. No Angels On A Saturday Night sets the scene perfectly.
The show is based around Saunders’ own songs, which cover a range of moods and themes. The delightfully cynical It’s All Good provides a jaunty insight into the minds of the happily ignorant, while A Bit More Lovely Every Day flawlessly captures the spirit of enduring affection.
The performance is augmented by some delightfully naughty burlesque, courtesy of the gorgeous Sarina del Fuego and Lola LaBelle, and this is enjoyed by all. There are some genuinely funny moments too, largely courtesy of Rudi the sad-faced clown. If you like your Wagner sung by a chap with a red ball for a nose, Rudi is your man.
There’s almost continuous interaction with the crowd, a relatively easy task in this intimate venue, and Saunders also manages to pack in around a dozen songs.
The hour passes rather too quickly and most of those present would happily stay for twice that length of time. Saunders’ songs are insightful, his piano playing doesn’t miss a note, his chat is erudite as well as being amusing, and he has a great singing voice to boot. This is a charming, colourful and interesting show, skilfully presented by Saunders and his friends. It is only on until Sunday, so get down and see it while you can!
A Blues And Burlesque “It’s You It’s Not Me” continues at La Bohème from 9pm until Sun 21 Feb.
La BohemeReviewed By Amy SincockFebruary 18, 2016
Fans of the blues are in for a treat with this year’s version of Fringe favourite, A Blues and Burlesque’s “It’s you, it’s not me”. The line-up seems to have changed at the last minute, with compere Vicious Delicious not making an appearance. What that means though, is you get extra blues stylings from pianist Dexys Pete Saunders.La Boheme is the perfect venue for this show. Come and enjoy the old-world décor with a performance that nods to prohibition days in America. Saunders will impress you with his talent on the keys while keeping you laughing at his dry wit throughout the hour.If you’re coming for the burlesque though, be aware that it’s really a blues performance with a fringe of dance. Maybe an 80/20 split in the music’s favour. There’s also a bit of slightly awkward comedy from a sad clown. The two burlesque dancers that performed were wonderful, but I’d recommend coming for the piano and considering the rest as fun extras.The biggest downside to the show is that there isn’t room to dance. I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to keep still when the music starts. Jiving in your seat sometimes just isn’t the same. But if you’re looking for a great night out with a lot of cool blues, some sexy dancers, and plenty of laughs, get your seat-jive on with A Blues and Burlesque at La Boheme this Fringe.
Blues and Burlesque: Happy Hour
by Max Falkenberg on 12th August 2015
Created by the wonderful Pete Saunders and his lovely ladies Miss Vicious Delicious and the delightful Scarlet Belle, Blues and Burlesque: Happy Hour offers an enchanting evening of Cabaret at the exclusive Caledonian Hotel. A wonderful introduction to the world of Burlesque, the award winning group present an impressive, fully formed production with a superb light touch for the Burlesque virgin.
As a complete set, the wonderful trio push to please and please they do.
Charming from start to finish, Saunders has an art to working the house and a fantastic ease with which he weaves together the show. An accomplished pianist and songwriter, Saunders breathes the blues and gives a resounding performance with his three piece band. His songs are light-hearted and funny, teasing his audience and superbly complementing Miss Delicious as compère. Although she lacks the finesse of her counterparts, Miss Delicious is an enjoyable host with an admirable wit. A few numbers feel a little forced and a poor sound check doesn’t help her already rusty high notes. She adds an edgy humour to the show, but unlike Belle and Saunders, there is a tendency to push the persona too far.
Winner of the 2013 World Burlesque Games, Miss Scarlet Belle oozes sex, sass and sophistication. A tantalising tease, she has a wonderful control over her audience and is an outright impressive performer, outshining the more aggressive Miss Delicious. Scarlet effortlessly eases desire out of each and every gentleman in the audience with her sleek, soft touch. Her songs are the stand out moments of the show and she builds a fun, flirty atmosphere in the luxurious Caley bar.
As a complete set, the wonderful trio push to please and please they do. Saunders is uncompromisingly suave, Belle is a real beauty and despite her faults, Miss Vicious is just so deliciously naughty. The show is not faultless, but the fireworks are fantastic.
By Max Falkenberg
Max is the Arts Editor for the student paper FelixOnline. A member of the National Youth Theatre and Group 64 youth theatre, Max enjoys acting, directing and editing.
://storieswelltold.com.au/blog/stories/twist-burlesque/Blues and Burlesque – Hotter Than Hell
Blues and Burlesque is a sumptuous mix of wicked comedy, blues tunes, dancing and all the showgirl glamour of yesteryear.
Vicious Delicious and Scarlett Belle, who fill the room with sequins, feathers and spine tingling voices, are fabulously accompanied by Pete on the piano!
All three performers were utterly loveable and the rivalry between the sassy and vivacious women brought a touch of humour to the evening of cabaret.
There was plenty of audience involvement in what was a very entertaining opening night of great music and just the right amount of naughty!
You almost forget there are only three performers in the company, with their larger-than-life personalities, incredible talent and fabulous chemistry.
Everyone from the age of consent up should step into La Boheme and be transported to a 1920s jazz lounge complete with sequins and tassles.
Playing to a full house last Friday night, the UK’s Blues And Burlesque
brought a tale of destiny and damnation to the Midlandia Rectangle Room.
Backed by a stunningly talented blues pianist, two alluring burlesque ladies took the crowd through the art of tease, tested an audience member on his catching skills (with various items of clothing, of course) and proved that both the “sexy” one and the “funny” one were, funnily enough, hotter than hell. A damned good performance by everyone involved – but just a handy tip, don’t bring your kids (as one audience member learnt the hard way).
Rectangle Room, Midlandia
Adelaide Fringe review: Happy Hour
By Melanie Bagg
This cabaret-style burlesque show by London-based Blues and Burlesque trio is set to a jazz piano soundtrack and ticks all the boxes, from the sexy frocks to a few near naked shocks. The male burlesque performer is a huge hit, and has an incredible voice… we were all melting (and not from the heat!). Great voices and dancing (tap and acrobatics) work well with lots of cute jokes and a camaraderie that makes us feel as though we have slipped back into a 1920’s brothel on party night. Pianist Pete Saunders is an accomplished piano player and fits the show perfectly, adding humour and wit throughout while playing some intense pieces. If you’re looking for an honest performance with up close performers and minimal staging, I recommend this one – beautiful to look at from the eyelash extensions to sparkling pasties! A rollicking good show.
Happy Hour, $25.50, until 14 March, La Boheme. Details here.
id you know Scotland banned the Happy Hour in 2009? Not being a Scot, neither did I.So when the Blues & Burlesque crew – piano man Pete Saunders, and manic chanteuses Vicious Delicious and Scarlett Bell – tour their Happy Hour cabaret variety show up North of Hadrian’s Wall it no doubt garners a hungry attention, and not just from those suffering Buckfast
withdrawal.And so should it soothe the cultural delirium tremens of the searching Adelaide Fringe punter.Returning once again to take up residency within the elegant surrounds of La Boheme
, our piano playing cat the in flat cap beguiled us with a toe tapping tuneful but hazardous musical alliance of Robert Smith sporting Mickey Mouse ears, before Ms Delicious dazzled with a faux-francophile Eartha Kitt-esque number of ribald cuckoldry and humiliation.Guest artist, Magician and possible used car salesman Paul Dabek
, peppered us with rapid Browning gun delivery of witty one liners and visual cantrips evoking the age old question “How Long Is A Piece of String” by demonstrating his knotty Boy Scout achievement badge through a series of clever illusions.
She may only have a cubic zirconia budget, but Scarlett Belle proved she is a rare gem with her rendition of Diamonds Are Forever, eventually revealing every facet of her gorgeous form in a slow burly striptease.Guest performer Tessa Waters
explored matters both hirsute and of gender stereo-typing in her interpretative dance & physical comedy routine that paid tribute the joys of freedom of expression, whale song and secondary sexual characteristics. We were also blessed with Adelaide’s own Luna Eclipse, our favourite genie in a djinn bottle
, who whilst being short on wishes, took us on a magic lino square ride of jokes, tragic magic and boobie & butt tassel coordinated fun.Finally the B&B crew showed they are truly the sharpest tools in the shed, and sang a riotous ode to the personal services a decent tradie can bring to the lonely woman at home, and why there’s nothing dumb about wanting some decent hammers in their box.Blues & Burlesque: Happy Hour is playing right throughout
the Fringe Festival, so plenty of opportunities to catch this regularly lauded and awarded Fringe Festival act.
BLUES AND BURLESQUE: HAPPY HOUR4La Boheme - UpstairsReviewed By Guest Writer
February 19, 2015
The Fringe isn’t only for the East End, you know. Arriving for the late night session of Blues and Burlesque: Happy Hour
at La Boheme, you wait in their secret beer garden until your session is called. Having bought your ideal cabaret accompaniment (red wine, surely), and been called to attend, you can make your way up the steep staircase to their upstairs venue. It’s small, it’s intimate, and it’s sumptuous. The perfect place to peek at a burlesque show.With talented blues pianist, Pete Saunders, sassy French(ish) compere, Vicious Delicious, and vintage showgirl, Scarlett Belle, you know you’re in for a good night. We start off with a bluesy selection of songs from Saunders leading in to the girls giving us their best winks, shimmys, and sexual innuendos. From some speccy magic tricks with rope to self-depreciating odes to the burlesque genre, the troupe and friends treated us to a fine mix of all that is vaudeville and cheeky.The best part about the late show is that it’s a happy hour. Not only do you get to see a preview of what Blues and Burlesque: Hotter Than Hell
can give you, you also get to see a selection of the finest burlesque performers of this year’s Adelaide Fringe. You could get a taste of comedy, drama, magic tricks, a strip-tease, or who knows, maybe even a sexy mix of them all.It’s a fairly tame show for its 10:30pm time slot, but if you want to jump back in time and experience the showgirls of yesteryear with a good laugh to boot, this is the place to be.Blues and Burlesque: Happy Hour continues at La Boheme – Upstairs until Saturday March 14.
Words by Amy SincockTAGS4 starsamy sincockblues and burlesque: happy hourfringe 2015la boheme
was just to get you warmed up. Socially lubricated. Now it was time for me to get Hotter Than Hell with Blues & Burlesque, once again within the rarefied atmosphere of La Boheme
. I make the interesting observation, one I made a couple of years back at an Adelaide Fringe burlesque act, that not counting the hens party, the majority of the audience are well into their elder years. Maybe an Over 50 Shades of Grey aphrodisiac outing? The retirement home may well be rocking tonight when the lights go out– maybe something Vicious Delicious and Scarlett Belle are used to being the protagonists for….maybe something they didn’t want to think about….<gallic shrug> Speaking of Vicious Delicious, she bursts onto the stage like a crashing chandelier to the thumping piano of Peter Saunders– sparkling, glorious to behold, and maybe shocking the unprepared with her ‘Bitch Song’, amongst a collection of ascerbic biting one liners and teasing heckles to the unsuspecting.
Joined by Scarlett they make us “Feel That Crazy Beat” with a lively display of tightly coordinated show girl jazz, a very polished and professional performance which is by no means ‘by the numbers’. It takes no small amount of skill to allow two very different personalities project loudly in performance, and yet maintain a level of integration & balance in delivery. Inevitably there are the burlesque virgins who have not partaken in the pleasure of cabaret striptease before, and Scarlett has a special sultry song to bring them along for the ride. Smouldering on stage, with equal parts tease and reveal she instructed them to manage their expectations and anticipa…..tion. Mercy. The audience gets good measure from Viscious Delicious once more – an almost Theatre Sport number where audience member Luke had to keep his composure and his clothes, while Ms Delicious gradually shed hers. She may claim on stage to be past doing burlesque but she sizzles when it counts. Also a must mention from me is “You’ve Changed”, her enchantingly sung lament to love lost to time, combined with loss of hip flexibility as she wrestled with the top of an upright piano to serenade us on. Hotter Than Hell is funny, sexy and entertaining, this production having a strong Broadway show vibe vocally, visually and aurally under the musical direction of maestro Peter Saunders. It is playing throughout the rest of the Adelaide Fringe
, so there is bound to be a night that suits you. Grab ya’ grandparents and take them along!
EDINBURGH 2014 Broadway Baby
"Overall the show is a good mix of song, dance and flirty fun. It is far funnier than billed in the programme and the whole thing is well produced
is a good value 50 minutes of raunchy entertainment. The blues are soulful, the burlesque thrusting and the comedy plentifu"
Blues and Burlesque is the brain child of former Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ pianist Pete Saunders and is an extraordinary fusion of blues, comedy and burlesque, featuring Saunders on the piano and vocals, envious chav comedienne Vicious Delicious (Leah Shand) and doe-in-the-headlights burlesque beauty Scarlett Belle.
The trio not only excel in their specific fields, but exhibit finely-tuned skills in complementary areas, making for one of the finest hours of entertainment you will see at the Fringe.
The show opens with Saunders evoking the sultry sounds of New Orleans in the 30s on the piano. If you close your eyes whilst grasping a glass of whiskey, you can almost imagine that you had stepped into a scene from Boardwalk Empire. For a moment, you wish Australian smoking regulations made an exception for cabaret bars, as the clear, smoke-free air didn’t seem right. After the opening song is complete, Vicious Delicious steps on stage, takes the reigns of the show and never lets go. She is a rare comedic talent, playing the role of the sex crazed chav (English for bogan) hostess who is harbouring a deep resentment for her young sex-pot co-host Scarlette Belle. Belle, a 2013 World Burlesque Games Winner, makes Jessica Rabbit look like Doris Day. She is a master of the art of tease. Of her performance, Saunders jokes that he is glad he sitting in front of a piano. May I advise male audience members to get a seat at a table for this very reason. The rivalry between Belle and Delicious forms the narrative of the show. Whilst such a rivalry and stereotypical characters have been seen before, you have never seen it done this well.
All of the music and lyrics is written by Saunders, with some collaboration by Delicious (in particular her hilarious take on French break-up song “Ne me quitte pas“) and is both musically satisfying and lyrically lewd and witty. Many songs give the opportunity for audience interaction, so sitting in the front rows will put you in the firing line of Delicious’ ballistic wit and Belle’s steamy seductions. A heroically bearded audience member, for example, was the perfect target for Belle’s ballad about her obsession with facially hirsute men. In addition to song, the female duo exhibit exemplary tap dancing skills, while Belle’s burlesque closes the show with a bang. Many burlesque performers show too much, too soon or too often. Belle, on the other hand, keeps the audience waiting until they cannot stand it anymore. A blazing encore sent the audience onto the streets with a warm glow. Many of the remaining performances of Blues and Burlesque are sold out, so rush out and get your tickets before you miss a highlight of this year’s Fringe.
Adelaide Fringe review 2014: Blues and Burlesque
- February 21, 2014 3:34PM
Blues and BurlesqueCabaret ****La Boheme, until March 2A fantastic mix of comedy, blues and an attractive woman getting her kit off in style. All the way from the UK comes Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Pete Saunders, Scarlett Belle — winner at the 2013 World Burlesque Games, and ringmistress Vicious Delicious. While Scarlett Belle’s songs like The Art of Tease incited a reaction from the male audience members, Vicious Delicious’ advice on how to break up with your boyfriend by song had female audience members taking notes. A great cabaret show with laughter and the blues provided by Pete Saunders. The one-hour show goes quickly, it took me by surprise when Ms Delicious announced it was over. If you do have facial hair, be warned that Scarlett Belle may take a shine to you.
The scene is set: a late night bar, one last drink and a cigar. The mood rises as Pete Saunders' piano blues snake through the room. Glamorous guest Sarina Del Fuego del Fuego warms the full house with luscious seduction. Vicious Delicous and Scarlett Belle take to the stage and the crazy beat with abandon. A playful rivalry between the two is highlighted by the edgy humour of Delicous and the insouciance of Belle.
Audience interaction plays a big part in the show. Anything could happen; danger lurks just around the next chord of Saunders’ pulsing rhythms. Timing is everything and all three had it like a raunchy Swiss clock.
Scarlett Belle arlett could rip your heart out, eat it and still leave you laughing while Delicious hints of a good time that could land you in jail.
Saunders’ piano, the witty lyrics and fabulous singing took the songs to the rafters.
RIP IT UP
Blues And Burlesque continues at La Bohème until Sun Mar 2 (excl. Mon Feb 25 & Tue Feb 25).
When Blues and Burlesque opened with a declaration from keyboardist Pete Saunders that "this show may feature adult themes, like regret and disillusionment", the jaded cynic inside of me had a feeling she would enjoy the show.Contrary to that introduction, Blues and Burlesque is a light-hearted romp through decades of music and dance. Accompanied by Saunders, hostesses Vicious Delicious and Scarlett Belle sing and dance to everything from original 1930s-inspired cabaret numbers to one particularly memorable cover of the Outhere Brothers' Boom Boom Boom. Belle is the resident siren and holds down the burlesque end of the deal, while Delicious plays her jealous rival.In spite of potentially offering less than Belle in terms of musicality, Delicious' comedy was the highlight of the show. When the duo's love/hate dynamic worked, carried primarily by Delicious, it really worked. Brazenly flipping the bird as Belle walked off stage and sweeping away clothes that she had carefully removed and then left on stage, Delicious' disillusionment had the audience breaking out into childish giggles.
CELLAR VIE WITH PETE AND VICIOUS
by Tati Kalveks / 5th July 2013CellarDoor works well as a live music venue, despite a tiny interior. I’m guessing it was once Aldwych’s cottaging venue of choice; now it’s still the size of my pocket, with plenty of mirrors on the wall to bang your head on when trying to walk into rooms that don’t exist. Pete Saunders, ex-keyboardist from Dexy’s Midnight Runners and show creator extraordinaire, got the evening going with a rendition of Love Cats by The Cure, and the sort of jazz piano playing that makes you think we should all be in a considerably bigger place – like Carnegie Hall, maybe.He was soon joined by singer and comedienne Vicious Delicious. The two connected with the audience instantly (even with the stragglers turning up halfway through). Delicious’s outrageous cabaret and Pete’s feel-good style were superlative: Pete provides an impeccable jazz piano platform upon which Miss Delicious glitters and glides. She lunges at all the boys, kisses them and makes them cry but, you know, in a fun way. Her delivery, her sense of timing, are impeccable but in no way conventional. She subverts the cabaret praxis with a surreal energy, sliding through genres like David Walliams swimming in Vaseline: now she’s a chanteuse, a rapper, an enigma, or just a delightfully bizarre talent, zooming into the audience with a scary sort of madcap energy.
We loved it. She had us in the palm of her hand from the beginning, with an original song titled Fluff You Up, and I can’t think of a palm I’d rather sit in and be fluffed by than Miss Delicious’s. I imagine it’s soft and delicate, with a hint of Delicious perspiration. And all that stamina! Her rendition of I’m Tired (Blazing Saddles) was a defiant, enraged howl; the sound of a lady worth knowing. God, I love a woman without shame!
While Ms Vicious brought the pizzazz, Mr Saunders provided the jazz, with the kind of effortless improvisation that we all know isn’t remotely effortless. His almost edible, gravelly, rendition of Let The Good Times Roll was a joy. The duo perform at CellarDoor on the first Wednesday of every month, with the exception of August, when they will be in Edinburgh, performing their show Blues & Burlesque at the Blind Poet (venue 271).