Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Julia Stone at the Metro Theatre, 15 September 2012

I have been vomited upon by my two sick children for the last two weeks and have only recently re-surfaced from under a mountain of dirty bed linen, stacks of salted crackers and seas of chamomile tea...

So just before heading to Fiji for a long anticipated and, I think, well deserved holiday, a quick recount of my last little adventure into the Australian music scene. The venue is the Metro Theatre again and the occasion the concert of the lovely Julia Stone.

Support act is The Trouble with Templeton from Brisbane. The band's young singer and songwriter Tom Calder is definitely someone to watch. He's got charisma, a wonderful voice and he writes songs that are catchy and packed with raw emotions.

Julia Stone herself, when she finally enters the stage, is delightful: Her unpretentious and relaxed banter gives the concert a very personal and intimate feel. She tells little stories about how the songs for her solo album By the Horns came about and what inspired them. She is sweet without drifting into the kind of sugary and infantile cuteness that strangely seems to be the default setting for a lot of girls these days (Wow, I sound like a grumpy old woman, and I'm breaking my own rule of not being bitchy in this blog, so enough of this).

Julia Stone does a few trumpet solos, but for most songs she plays the guitar (one bearded guy seems solely assigned to hand her a different model after each song). Stone seems mature and confident and is clearly a seasoned performer. But her most obvious asset is her sheer talent: Her voice is beautiful and fragile, and it matches the songs with their stripped back, acoustic compositions that sound deceivingly simple, but are delicate and well crafted arrangements.
After playing together with her brother Angus for six years, they both have taken this year to pursue their respective solo projects. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Angus Stone perform at the Enmore Theatre this November, where he will play songs from his new album Broken Brights. They have promised to get back together after this little excursion. Whatever they decide to do in the future, these extraordinary siblings have proven that they continue to deserve a central place in Australia's musical landscape.

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