Blasko mesmerises Milton

BEAUTIFUL BLASKO: Sarah Blasko performs at Milton Theatre. Photo STEPHEN BRAY.Sarah Blasko rolled into our sleepy south coast town for twointense and cinematic style sets at Milton Theatre on Friday, January 25.

After quickly selling out the 8pm show, managementgraciously opened up a 4pm matinee slot.

These were the first shows of a prolonged national andinternational album tour for I Awake which includes a backing orchestra andvenues such as the Opera House in Sydney, Art Centre in Melbourne as well asvenues in Paris and Berlin.

A cynic might say she was just here to tighten up a band orto re energise before the ardour of the tour proper.

Yes the later set improved on the matinee and I can onlyimagine that the Candelo shows on the Saturday and Sunday were even better butthis was no rehearsal.

Darren Hanlon was a surprise support act.

His lofi story telling was a perfect foil to the intensitywhich was to follow.

Word is that he and Ms Blasko shared a house in the postmillennium.

He brought a beautiful 100 year old guitar and charmed usall.

Hopefully he will be back, perhaps with some of his oldCandle Records’ stable mates or Mick Thomas of Weddings, Parties, Anything famewhose last album Darren recently produced in Portland, Oregon.

I Awake is Sarah Blasko’s fourth long player.

She produced and wrote the album [co writes and addedorchestral arrangements] by herself.

Composed initially on a piano in a house that Sarah lived inby herself in Brighton UK in the first six-months of 2011 the album was thenrecorded in Sweden and Bulgaria.

I Awake has been receiving steady airplay and acclaim sinceits release late last year.

Sarah’s lilting and fragile voice belies the power andintensity of her performance.

There is a dichotomy at the base of her music.

Light but dark, open yet closed.

Honorary local bassist David Symes combined well withSwedish drummer Frederik Rundqvist and allowed David Hunt on keys to draw andlead these songs.

Long-time band fellow Ben Fletcher was flawless on guitar,uke and banjo.

As the warm night progressed the beats became almost trancelike, with Sarah singing, dancing and channelling her Baptist churchupbringing.

The audience was privy to what are very personal stories ofself-revelation and then, hopefully, shared in the epiphanies of understandingand acceptance.

It is heavy-duty subject material wrapped in Kate Bush likecotton candy vocals and though I felt honoured that she had chosen MiltonTheatre as one of only two small venues on this tour, I was still jealous ofthe major cities, as it would have been even better with a backing orchestra.

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