Having recently chatted to Ned Collette about his new album, Carol Bowditch braved the cold to check out his live show in Sydney, which was to promote the new album, Ned Collette + Wirewalker - 2
Nursing a chilli coma, the relaxed vibe of the loosely packed crowd was a welcoming environment for my ill self. It was the sort of gig where you could lounge on couches or park yourself cross-legged on the floor while sipping on something warming.
The support act, the Russian born, Berlin expat, Mary Ocher, took to the stage wearing a sparkly bra and sporting a messy peroxide blonde do. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the solo songstress from her eccentric appearance and her strange exclamation in her thick accent that the lights were "SO cool, they make me feel like I’m in a horror film.”
The vocals in her short tracks were aggressive, with unidentifiable lyrics yelped between staccato screams and whimpers. Ocher’s solo set was brave, although it was a little hard to fully enjoy and appreciate with my intestines burning.
A crowd emerged after Ocher’s set, ready and waiting for Ned Collette + Wirewalker to take over. Ned, looking schmick in an all-white ensemble started the set with one of my favourite tracks off the new album, Il Futuro Fantastico. It was a strong start, with pulsating keyboard samples, monotonous pacing vocals and gangly Spanish guitar. The dreamy The Decision was heavy with keyboard chords and organic percussion sounds, with Ned’s reminiscent lyrics layered over the top. The only instrumental on the album, For Roberto, another standout track, was executed well live. The Spanish-infused tune blends these awkward, broken melody progressions on the synth, with acoustic chords and dextrous fingerpicking. Midway through the song there was an interlude and where Ned took time to sip his wine as eerie synth sounds filled the room. The band finished off with Long You Lie, with the tropical intro, and multiple vocals singing in harmony through the chorus.
The varied sounds of the set proved that Ned and his Wirewalkers could seamlessly blend genres and borrow from different countries’ music. The Spanish-tinged set had something distinctly organic and Australian about it, and with the members having come from their base in Berlin to play, it was a truly international affair.
Review and live picture by Carol Bowditch