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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kimya Dawson at Manning Bar


KIMYA DAWSON
ANGELO SPENCER
AND THEN TO BED
Manning Bar, Sydney
20/06/08


Female singer/songwriter And Then To Bed opened proceedings by prettily warbling her way though some acoustic tunes with the occasional accompaniment of the piano-accordion or tambourine.

Next, one-man show Angelo Spencer raised the tempo with a ramshackle but fun set. With a basic kick-drum/high-hat set-up and switching between a bass and electric guitar, the Frenchman belted out punchy tracks which he sometimes stopped midway through in order to regale the crowd with quirky, semi-incomprehensible stories.

In front of a sold-out room, Kimya Dawson sat in a chair, strummed gently at her acoustic guitar and sang super-softly with her eyes tightly closed. Opening with It’s Been Raining and continuing with similarly slow songs, she explained that her downbeat set-list did not represent her mood, but that a nasty case of tendonitis was preventing her from playing anything particularly up-tempo or complicated. The genial American was in fact in great spirits on her debut visit to Australia, and had the crowd in stitches with her hilarious between-song banter about everything from Malcolm In The Middle to chimpanzees eating their own shit.


Predictable requests for Moldy Peaches songs were, of course, declined by Dawson, who went to great lengths to explain that playing them without band-mate Adam Green would be as hollow an experience as “singing a John Mayer song at karaoke.” Instead she played tracks from her extensive solo back-catalogue, as well as offerings from Alphabutt, her upcoming album for kids. Encouraging audience participation, and with lyrics like: “G is for gorilla fart/H is for huge gorilla fart,” these cheeky ditties went down an absolute storm.

Dawson went on to raise the roof with an A Capella version of The Greatest Love Of All as well as a love song written by her brother about professional wrestler Randy Savage. However, as well as being witty, she is also known to wear her heart on her sleeve, and light-hearted moments like these were counterbalanced by sobering true tales of melancholy in what was an always engaging atmosphere, regardless of whether the tone was light-hearted or sombre.

By the time a singalong of Loose Lips ended the night, there surely wasn’t a person in the room that hadn’t been wooed by Dawson’s warm nature and wonderful ditties. Unpretentious, entertaining, funny, touching and impossibly intimate, this was an experience that will live long in the memory of everyone lucky enough to be there. Gig of the year so far, no question.

2 comments:

Jen said...

I think Kimya is the best. SO lovely live

Rhys said...

Right there with you Bobster twas an ace gig!