Cellar Vie with Pete and Vicious
CellarDoor 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).
CellarDoor is located at Zero Aldwych in London, WC2E 7DN. Entrance is free, with live acts from 9pm. For further enquiries, call 020 7240 8848.