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
“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”.
one thing that separates this show from previous tours is the inclusion to the
band, Grizzlee Train, whom Kasey plucked from her local pub. This is what makes
Kasey so relatable and likeable, she’s not afraid to give someone a go and
loves nothing more than to let other people shine. And that is exactly what
Grizzlee Train do, the duo who are only 19 years of age. You’d only know it by
looking at them because watching them play is like they have a lifetime of
talent. With an alternative blues &
roots feel with guitar licks and pulsating stomp percussion they bring this
show to a whole other level . At one point Kasey leaves and allows the guys to have the stage
all to themselves. It’s no surprise when the crowd becomes louder, it’s as if
they want to tell Kasey that she’s done a great thing by bringing them on
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.