SEEKER LOVER KEEPER
St Stephen’s Uniting Church, 22/11/11
Your standard gig experience usually involves standing on beer soaked floors in dingy rooms, stuck behind either the tallest man in the world or the person with phone held aloft, filming the entire set and stopping only to have loud conversations with their friends in the middle of a particularly quiet song. So, what a delightful anomaly it was to sit and watch a show in the least rock 'n' roll venue ever. A church.
The Sydney leg of the Heavenly Sounds tour saw the first of two sell-out crowds enjoying a booze/mobile phone/annoyance-free environment at St Stephen's Church as Melbourne-based Henry Wagons opened the evening. While his banter was pretty funny, and despite the fact that it was a purely acoustic performance, the brashness of his delivery and persona weren’t really in keeping with the sweet, ethereal nature of the occasion.
Despite having spent years performing live, the three members of Seeker Lover Keeper all retain a shy, slightly awkward stage presence which is hugely appealing. Not least Sarah Blasko. As she danced like the shy kid at a school disco, shuffling her weight from side to side, it was pretty hard not to fall in love with her. This is surely the most unassuming supergroup around. But super they are. Songs from their excellent debut album were note-perfect; their nuances enhanced by the church’s fine acoustics and soft lighting.
Alongside Blasko’s beautiful, breathy-yet-powerful voice, Sally Seltman offered dreamy tones while Holly Throsby’s vocal was nicely understated. The band, backed by a drummer and bassist, interchanged constantly, with each member intermittently taking on lead vocals, piano and acoustic guitar duties. All three also performed one of their solo compositions, with Throsby adding it was a joy to play hers because, “Seeker Lover Keeper are the best backing band ever.” True, these three songstresses’ voices all perfectly complimented each other.
Ending the night with their best song, Even Though I’m a Woman, the trio left the stage to a deservedly rousing reception. Without wishing to make the previous few paragraphs seem superfluous, a night in a warmly-lit church watching three talented and charming musicians can be aptly summed-up in a single word. Lovely.
Review by Bobby Townsend. It first appeared in Sydney's Drum Media.