The impressive Riverbank Palais is a venue that has been built on the Torrens for the duration of the Adelaide Festival. It’s a beautiful space large venue with psychedelic b/w tiles on the dance floor. Two bars, upstairs viewing area and chill out deck upstairs. Behind the stage the venue is open, so there is a changing backdrop of the Festival Theatre and Convention Centre with the light changing with the sunset.
It is a credit to the people at the Adelaide Festival that they have created such a cracking space and vibe. The programme over the next couple of weeks includes Kurt Vile, The Bamboos, Hot 8 Brass Band, Dave Graney, All Our Exes Live In Texas and the not to be missed Mexrrissey who play mariachi versions of Smiths and Morrissey songs.
Opening night saw the amazing Andrew Nolte & His Orchestra playing two sets of authentic 1920’s jazz. The original Palais De Dance was created in the 1920’s so this bit of programming is both bold and smart. Nolte takes the role of band leader, saxophonist and sometimes vocalist and is, like the entire ten piece ensemble, dressed to perfection. He in-between song banter into a vintage 1920 microphone, is pure yesteryear. “Here’s a song that keeps turning up like a bad penny”, he quips.
Authentically recreating songs like Black Bottom, You Were Meant For Me and Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella and the spirit of 20s Jazz legends like Bix Beiderbecke and Jelly Roll Morton. They mostly have actual 20’s instruments, music stands and some of them are even wearing suits made in Melbourne in the 1920s. That dedication for you.
It has to be said that the audience was half the show. People dressed the part with suits, flapper dresses, lots of beads. People were doing the Charleston, and it was interesting watching people use whatever dance skills they had to enjoy the band. By that I mean you had ballroom dancers, rock’n’roll dancers and a strong representation of Swing Out Adelaide, busting out the Lindy Hop moves and adding to the movement and colour of a great night out.
Review by Ian Bell