Music Review: Camille O'Sullivan Sings Cave, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Camille O’Sullivan is back, and she’s loud.

Camille O'SUllivan sings the Nick Cave songbook with spellbinding intensity and spontaneity

But also, at points, devastatingly quiet, achingly romantic and touched by madness.

Such is the dynamic of her subject – the music of Nick Cave, with which she has had a long and ardent relationship.

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This latest showcase of her interpretative skill is a relatively unadorned affair by her usual standards – just a little voiceover, quoting Cave’s musings, and her three-piece band set up in front of a backdrop of the moon, auguring the lunacy to follow.

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O’Sullivan emerges, an impish smile on her lips, lulling the audience with the hushed anticipation of God Is In The House, a favourite from previous shows, and reeling them in with the ravishingly romantic Are You The One That I’ve Been Waiting For and exquisite poetry of Into My Arms.

But just as she instructs the band to take it down, she also commands them to crank it up, rampaging the stage in raspy rocker mode for Jubilee Street.

At times, this feels more like a gig than a show, which plays well to O’Sullivan’s intuition and spontaneity. A stomping There She Goes My Beautiful World– urgent, where Cave’s original is exultant – is her trigger for an audience invasion.

Then the shoes come off and the Irish dancing begins, with O’Sullivan embracing the creative chaos.

She stages an intervention on piano during the gleeful voodoo of Red Right Hand, inhabits the nefarious character of Stagger Lee and delivers an infernal Mercy Seat before setting sail into the night on her favourite Cave number.

The Ship Song is quite the voyage, from a breathy whisper to an expansive epic to a communal prayer, leaving a spellbound congregation in her wake.

Until 25. August. Today, 9.15pm. ****