Last Sunday I went to the Gardens Amphitheatre to see these great singer/songwriters perform as part of the Darwin Festival. There was a big crowd even an hour before the start, with many people enjoying the Darwin festival food and drink outlets. The Wood Fired Pizza and Hanuman queues were long but we managed to secure a good position on the grass and get our food in shifts so we didn’t miss too much of the music.
Kate sang first, with her beautiful voice and unique opera tones. Her first song was The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child. She sang with a shaker and accompanied by one guitar player and one back up vocal. With this song she sang in whispers with a very unique sound, almost bird like sounds, at times, using her hands cupped around her mouth.
With Politics In Space she made nice use of her classically trained opera style vocals. The audience listened with great attention. In between songs she was very chatty and commented on the Darwin wild life as bugs were flying (and dying) in her big hair sprayed hair do.
She sang Caught In A Crowd which is about school yard regrets and her vocals were perfect and beautiful. My personal favourite of hers – Sarah – was unbelievable, how does she sing those high notes? The Last Day on Earth was another favourite of mine.
Night Flight from her new album, about long haul flights where she played the keyboard, was great! Everyone laughed at the punch in face reference to annoying passengers on flights. Kate wore a bright orange dress with red tights with big hair, it was great to get a photo at the end with her and she was very down to earth and friendly.
Megan Washington joined Kate at one stage and they sang Space They Cannot Touch which is one of Kate’s very early hits and a really lovely song. Kate then sang “Words” from Little Eve which had an extended guitar solo with a crescendo of sound. They extended the very simple guitar into a very elaborate performance combined with an opera finish! It was very dramatic.
There was a quick break before Megan Washington’s show started, and so it was time for an ice cream from Trampoline. Then it was on with the show – Megan Washington was brilliant, she put her whole body into the songs and of course her great keyboard skills featured throughout the performance.
Clementine from her album I Believe You Liar was great with an extended introduction with drums to great effect. Also from this album was Navy Blues which had lots of piano with a great raunchy beat. Megan wore a short black outfit with fishnet stockings and really worked this song.
How To Tame A Lion was fantastic and showed off her vocal range. The song 1997 was great with its crazy but catchy lyrics, she is a great songwriter. I like how she made use of high and low notes on her keyboard, very catchy tunes.
From her early Insomnia EP she sang Sentimental Education, again the simple but hauntingly beautiful keyboard contributed to a very powerful song. This was one of my favourites as opposed to the next song, about a Gorilla love story – this was extremely weird and ridiculous!
Kate then joined her back on stage to sing Underground, a quirky song about her plans for her funeral!? The audience hung on every word and they both complimented each other in their harmonising and styles of singing this song. It’s great they are able to support each other like this at concerts.
Her last song was Rich Kid – awesome, and had the crowd rocking at the stage. After leaving she came back out for one final song – I touch myself by The Divinyls. I would have preferred one of many great songs left out of the concert but she has performed with Chrissy Amphlett previously and it fitted in perfectly with Megan Washington’s quirky style.
It was great to see these two brilliant singers in action and I would definitely try to see them again!
By Gabrielle White