Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review of 10-28 show at Philly’s World Cafe Live!

"Hi, we're Sweet Soubrette and we play songs of doomed romance," says NYC's Ellia Bisker scanning the audience at the World Café Live.

"In fact, fans of doomed romance, look around the room now and make eye contact. Then later on, you can go to the bar and start something that will end badly." She puts extra emphasis on the last two words, and pauses for effect, before launching into a stunning rendition of her song "Unlucky in love."

Wry, unapologetic, sassy and flirty, this tiny ukulele princess is not your typical acoustic act. But her humorous – if jaded – outlook on love is refreshing, and her witty commentary sets the stage for an entire evening of mellow, comedic rock.

Covered head-to-toe in silver sparkles (including big, sparkly fake eyelashes), Bisker is pretty and poised, maintaining the perfect balance of passion and deadpan as she describes past loves – a "mystery man" who is "charming and disarming;" who "came off as smart, but it was actually snark."

Her voice is light and airy with a touch of vulnerability – like the Siren she describes in "Siren Song". She's accompanied by violinist Heather Cole, whose fluid, haunted melodies compliment her punchy playing, and add a hint of melancholy to the humor.

Bisker is tongue-in-cheek funny – Jeanine Garofalo funny – and the audience absolutely adores it.

--Kate Bracaglia,