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Tori Scott: Thirsty! review at the Vaults, London – ‘polished and versatile vocals’

Tori Scott in Thirsty! at the Vault Festival, London. Photo: Da Ping Luo Tori Scott in Thirsty! at the Vault Festival, London. Photo: Da Ping Luo
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The Texan singer Tori Scott feels she has a good reason to drink. Not only is she single but her country is exhibiting seriously anti-social behaviour and she’s unsure how long her cat will live.

Thirsty! is Scott’s cautionary tale about a woman who will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for her mistakes. Inherently funny and more than a little confessional, Scott confidently shifts the role of the torch singer into the 21st century.

Through a mix of cabaret standards and thoughtfully re-imagined pop ballads, Scott celebrates a life spent among gay men and fuelled by vodka.

Some of the material is a bit cliched, but it’s elevated by Jesse Kissel’s playful arrangements and Scott’s not inconsiderable talent as a vocalist.

A segue from a mellow Ray of Light to Chain Of Fools via a fervent Take Me to Church indicate Scott’s dexterity as a singer. But it’s with old school numbers, made famous by Garland, Piaf and LuPone, where Scott seems at her most comfortable and interpretive.

Seth Sklar-Heyn’s direction may seem a little restrictive in places but Scott adapts valiantly to the Vaults space and isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall and connect with her audience.

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Brilliantly polished arrangements and vocals compensate for some rather predictable material