Burlesque, blue hair and the blues made for a belter of a night

Wondering what Nick Painless’ Black Cat and Top Hat events are like? Read Rachel Rocks’ latest review

Dan Smith with his guitar

Rachel Rocks shares this latest event review. Guest opinion articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publication. Ed


Nick Painless’ Black Cat and Top Hat events always showcase the best of the Island’s alternative talent. 

Painless, the charismatic and witty showman humorously introduced the acts with energy, enthusiasm and a very anti Boris Johnson sentiment that went down well with the cheering crowd. 

The ultimate professional had his audience in the palm of his hand as we all sang our hearts out Live Aid style when prompted by Painless with a Freddie Mercury:  “Aye oh” throughout the night. 

Gorelesque burlesque
Gothic beauty, Ravenna Grimm performed her unique gorelesque burlesque to Korn’s Twisted Transistor. 

The raven haired, porcelain skinned, tattooed, burlesque performer is perfectly petite with exquisite curves and a delectable peachy posterior. She bewitchingly interacted with the crowd with her entrancingly tempting wiggle. 

Ravenna Grimm performing
Ravenna Grimm

Her movements were naturally flowing and balletically graceful in contrast with the dark theme. Known for her storytelling routines, Ravenna’s gothic noir arthouse performance featured her dressed in a flowing black robe which she unveiled to reveal her stunning black lingerie with beautiful silver shimmer and sparkling diamante detail. 

She eerily carried a human skull, displaying it to the crowd before she seductively lured Mr Grimm onto the stage where she shockingly killed him to end her gothic fairytale nightmare! 

Island pop punk princess
Island pop punk princess, Alisha Bleue is a tiny vocalist with a big voice. Instantly recognisable with her striking blue hair and powerful vocals, she performed a delicious set full of passion and emotion. 

Highlights included her stunning version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Alisha’s funky sensual vocals had everyone dancing along or shimmying in their seats. 

Alisha Bleue performing
Alisha Bleue

The power and control in her voice is rich, pure and smooth. The vocal equivalent of a luxury chocolate on the senses. She sings ballads with elegance and class, like Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. However it was This is Me from The Greatest Showman where Alisha Bleue sang with such emotion that people watching commented that they had goosebumps.

It has been a privilege for me as an audience member and gig lover to watch Alisha develop as a singer/songwriter over the last five years. From a teenager with incredible talent and a beautiful voice, to the exceptional singer she is today. 

Portsmouth’s burlesque firecracker, Diosa Roja
There was also burlesque from Portsmouth’s burlesque firecracker, Diosa Roja, whose incredibly visual and impressive Matrix-inspired routine featured a huge glowstick and novel use of glowing lights.

Diosa Roja performing
Diosa Roja

Plus cowboy blues from the gifted Dan Smith whose bluesy version of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was innovative and moving, a very special performance. 

Next event
Events like Nick Painless’ Black Cat and Top Hat and live venues like The Tap give our talented Island entertainers the opportunity to get out there and do what they love, perform.

So catch the next Black Cat and Top Hat event at The Tap in Sandown on 25th January 2020. 

Images: Nick Painless 

Friday, 6th December, 2019 5:40pm

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Filed under: Dance, Music, Music Reviews, The Arts

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