Roz Kaveney

Is that our Shelly?

GT reviews One Fine Day - The Groovy Girls of the Sixties with Shelly Goldstein

Nancy Sinatra, Carole King, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark (who'll you'll find in our current issue) – the 1960s was a golden age for a particular kind of white woman pop singer, many of them singer songwriters. Previously women singers were supposed to celebrate monogamy and its prelude – finding Mr Right and settling down; it is worth remembering that, at the time, some of these songs were seen as subversive just because they celebrated power and autonomy. Shelly Goldstein's excellent cabaret reminds us of this for what is almost two hours but seems to go past much faster, simply because it is so full of fun. And there is just as much fun in the piano arrangements of the excellent Nigel Lilley.

Shelly is often at her best in unexpected quiet songs – she doesn't try to compete with divas like Mairi Wilson on Dusty Springfield's power ballads and instead goes with the charming 'Georgie Girl', just as she picks 'To Sir With Love' from Lulu's back catalogue rather than 'Shout'. She gives us glorious versions of 'Up on the Roof' and 'Downtown' and demonstrates that she can pull off characterful patter songs with a particularly frenzied 'I'm Not Getting Married', just to prove that she can do Sondheim as well as Tony Hatch.

A background in comedy writing means that the monologues between songs are as much fun as the songs themselves, particularly an extended Mary-Sue fantasy about being part of Swinging London and saying, as every woman of taste has in her dreams, 'Fuck off Paul, I've got a date with John.' She also sings her viral YouTube hit (see below) about the opponents of equal marriage ' Stupid callous homophobic hateful legislation' – well, the words may be contemporary, but Mary Poppins was in the timeframe she's celebrating...

Shelly Goldstein performs at Sergio's March 19 & 26

More from Roz Kaveney