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Friday, August 06, 2010

Laura Imbruglia residency at The Excelsior

LAURA IMBRUGLIA
SARAH KELLY

The Excelsior, Surry Hills
04/08/10

August sees a Laura Imbruglia residency at The Excelsior in Sydney’s Surry Hills, with every Wednesday offering up a different theme. The opening night of this run was entitled ‘Solo Laura’ and will be followed by Country Laura, Band Laura and, lastly and maybe most intriguingly, Karaoke Laura.

While the last-minute cancellation of support act, the wonderful Camilla Hill, through illness, was a disappointment, her shoes were ably filled by Sarah Kelly from redsunband. Perched onstage with a guitar, Kelly’s nuanced voice was spellbinding. At times delicate, sometimes with a strained beauty, her textured vocal filled the room and added to an already intimate atmosphere.

Battling through foldback problems and admitting to being a little nervous, Laura Imbruglia put on a typically unpretentious and charming show. Armed with an acoustic guitar, she rattled off tracks from her two long-players. Thanks to her knack of penning superb lyrics, a set from Imbruglia is a collection of well-rounded tales that offer a spectrum of ideas and emotions. One minute she sings about the misery of dating an older man, the next she is yearning for unobtainable love. In Home Sweet Home she talks about being curmudgeonly beyond her years, while in My Dream of a Magical Washing Machine she asks, “What did I drink last night? What did I smoke last night? It messed with my head.” Oldie-but-really-goodie It’s Getting Worse remains a delightfully sweet love song, while You’re a Parasitic Germ lands at the other end of the scale.

The next three weeks seem set to demonstrate that, as well as having many sides to her storytelling ability, Laura Imbruglia can mix it up musically. If you appreciate a fine combination of wit and melancholy, if you are a country fan, a rocker, or just want to get up on stage and belt out some Meatloaf, you should head along to one of these Wednesday night shows and support one of Sydney’s most intelligent songwriters.

Details of the residency here.