Tori Scott is #Thirsty
- Deborah Chu
- 21 August 2018
Self-deprecating observations made buoyant by powerhouse vocals
Tori Scott can sing: there's no doubt about that. Backed by her three-piece band the Shame Spirals, Scott's fulsome covers of everything from Janelle Monae's 'Tightrope' to 'La Vie en Rose' by Edith Piaf charges the room with her dynamite vocals. Unfortunately, however, the comedy aspect of her performance is no match.
There is the odd moment where Scott's comedy and music come together beautifully: a rendition of 'The Trolley Song' interspersed with the story of a masturbator on the New York subway is an excellent display of her ironic wit and supreme verve. But at other points in her hour, it feels as though her gags function merely as the set-up for her much-stronger vocal displays, rather than the two working in tandem. For instance, an anecdote about growing up in ultra-conservative Texas transitions into a chilling performance of Hozier's 'Take Me to Church', but to what end? The songs are excellent covers but not punchlines.
If Scott's show was listed in the cabaret section of the programme, then her performance could be judged on the strength of her singing and stage presence, both of which were magnetic. Unfortunately, in terms of its comedy, her jokes come across as amusing observations between songs, without the strength or structure to stand up on their own.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 Aug (not 22), 10.15pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).