I am trying to write this review on the basis I hadn’t just seen Joanna Newsom. Which I find to be quite difficult, as it is near to impossible for me to forget such an experience. Well, here it goes.
It was a showcase of Sydney talent last night at the Annandale Hotel. I missed Michael Paynter’s set because I was at Joanna Newsom. Thankfully, I got there just before the Sparkadia lads hit the stage. This is the second time I have seen these lads and I must point out that they have matured to an extent that they are now intriguing enough to demand attention and acquire stage presence. It is promising to see that their songs have gained depth and not just one-liners with overly repetitive riffs and melodies. Their indie pop-rock tunes also suited the Annandale punters who were in for a very loud night.
As for Miss Bertie Blackman, what can I say but what a little, pocket-rocket, rocker! She is an explosive performer. Television opened Blackman’s set and I was actually quite surprised at the audacity and honesty in the delivery of her songs. They are powerful songs full of grunt and awe, covered up by distortion and near-punk riffs. The final song most appropriately called, Last Song saw Blackman take the stage alone and at times I wished there was more of that. At one point, Blackman’s cover of NIN’s Closer was a bigger hit with the punters than her material. The clear winners of her’s last night were You Kill Me and Hold Me Close, which I can only attribute to the seldom airplay she gets on Triple J. It has been a hard road for Blackman with harsh criticisms of her latest release, Black. With that aside, Blackman is resisting the stereotypical female, singer-songwriter mold and whether or not she is succeeding at it, is still very questionable, although Blackman does have the potential to do so.
Photos are now up here.
The Annandale last night was louder than usual, as loud as St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival last year, which was loud only because we were outside and there really wasn’t any acoustics. As for the Annandale, I think they have left a lot a people with ringing ears well into the day.
Black is out now on Waterfront Records.
As you can see, last night I was a very busy bee.