review by Melanie Thompson
Kasey Chambers kicked off her “Bittersweet Tour” in Mandurah on Thursday night 5th FEB at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.
Kasey’s Dad, Bill Chambers opens the show (although he probably needn’t be introduced as this anymore) having had a music career that has stood the test of time since the good old days of The Dead Ringer Band. Bill could tour the country on his own, but chooses to be the man behind Kasey, as it’s probably something he loves nothing more. He’s proud to say to the crowd “I’m not Kasey, I’m her Dad, that’s how I got this gig”.
From the first strum of his guitar, Bill takes you on a nostalgic journey back to his past, as if you are sitting right there around the camp fire in the middle of nowhere on the Nullarbor Plain. If you have ever done the trip across it, you know exactly what I am talking about. You could happily sit and listen to Bill tell stories all night about his time as a fox hunter, bringing up a young family and living off the land.“I Drink” is a stand out (and crowd favourite) which is ruggedly sung by Bill, but his charisma pulls him through and we love every minute. Bill has great comedic timing that could actually rival any stand - up comic.
With just a short break after Bill’s set, Kasey and band (Bill, James Haselwood, Grizzlee Train) walks out on stage to a roaring crowd (more like you’d expect from a festival) maybe with It’s intimate setting it feels more intense. It’s almost as if we already know how incredible the show will be. Let’s face it, most of us have seen her multiple times before and there’s just something about her music that just feels like home.
“Wheelbarrow” is the show’s opener, the first single from Kasey’s ARIA winning Country album “Bittersweet” and it’s a stomper of a track. A great way to start the show and sets the tone for the rest of the show. It’s probably the only real polished song from the entire set. Which is not a criticism, although a compliment, you would think after all these years of travelling and touring the songs would be crisp and tied with a shiny bow, except it’s all a little rough around the edges which is exactly what the country crowd wants.
Kasey then attends to the crowd, saying how she is so excited to finally be on the road after having to postpone the tour due to being diagnosed with small nodules and inflammation on her vocal cords late last year.
“Stalker” is a stand out (Again from “Bittersweet”) whilst this song could easily have been inspired by her own experiences of being in the limelight, it’s actual inspiration comes from Kasey’s obsession with a fictional character from the show “Criminal Minds” (DR Spencer Reid) and how she was going to make him notice her.
“I would hang up when I call you, Leave notes upon your car, Have a room just for your pictures, I would love you from afar, I would love you from afar, I will love you from afar”.
A crowd request “If I Could” (Goin’ Fishin’) was unknown to the boys but you could see a music lesson unfold on stage with them following Bill and Kasey’s cue, watching every chord and playing along.
I musn’t take away all the glory from Kasey’s Bassist, James Haselwood, who is solid throughout and at one point Kasey calls him the “Backbone” of the band.
Kasey ends the show with “We’re All Gonna Die Someday” , which is a little predictable, I would have maybe liked something from the new album “I’m Alive” would have just topped it off for me, but I think I’m just being greedy.
Kasey played tracks from most of her albums, I thought “Little Bird” and Beautiful Mess” were missing, but I’m thinking these additions will be great for a Greatest Hits tour if there is one, one day!?
I caught up with Kasey after the show and she seemed the happiest she’s ever been. She was glowing and like a proud “mama” talking about Grizzlee Train and how amazing they were. She loved that the crowd had taken so well to them.
Make sure you get out to see Kasey, this is Australian Country Music at It’s finest.
~Melanie Thompson (CountryAllOver)
- Still Feeling Blue
- Not Pretty Enough
- This Flower
- Your Day Will Come
- Is God Real?
- Nullarbor (The Biggest Backyard)
- Rattlin’ Bones
- Grizzlee Train Original
- I Still Pray
- Cover (Seven Nation, The White Stripes)
- The Captain
- Drifting South (Bill Chambers)
- Barricades and Brickwalls
- Little Bit Lonesome
- If I Could (Goin Fishin)
- We’re All Gonna Die Some Day