I have loved the sound of strings in pop music since my dad got me singing along to Elton John and Kiki Dee’s jaunty “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. And the occasional horn doesn’t go astray either… the additional layers of the orchestral instruments seem to lift the music in a very emotional way.
So even though I was only slightly familiar with her repertoire, I just had a funny feeling that I would love Sarah Blasko’s performance in front of an orchestra, and I took myself along to see her accompanied by the TSO last night. The lovely man of the house minded the small people and I had a solo night out.
The audience appeared to be an incongruous blend of Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra subscribers and Triple J listeners, which made people-watching a preshow attraction in itself. A highlight in the foyer, for me, was the very stylish woman “of a certain age” accompanied by her neo-hipster granddaughter. What a wonderful –and probably rare– opportunity for them to enjoy a show together!
The support act, known as Wintercoats, provided an extraordinary display of how to exploit a violin for every possible noise it can emit. Recorded, looped and layered, these noises became a mesmerising soundtrack as we waited for Blasko and her very big backing band.
And as for the main show, I can really only say that it surpassed my expectations and I am glad not to have missed it. I’ll be seeking out recordings of the songs but I know that those full, encompassing, heart-thumping sounds from on stage can’t be captured. It was the kind of singing and music that you feel in your chest, that reminds you of forgotten thoughts and that has you concentrating intensely with your brain and all your senses, while somehow your mind soars somewhere else.
Meanwhile, the artist behind some of Sarah Blasko’s album cover art is really called Sharon King-Chai but she goes by the moniker “Eye Fly High”. It’s really gorgeous stuff; see Eye Fligh High