Vera Blue’s headline show at the Astor theatre last Thursday showcased her unique and mesmerising blend of folk and electronica in a performance that was raw, energetic and sublime, making it easy to see why she’s so regarded as one of Australia’s most promising talents.
Straight out of a top 30 Hottest 100 ranking and her own sell-out headline tour last year, Alex the Astronaut’s (real name Alexandra Lynn) opening slot could have been a headline show in itself. One of latest hot-topic, up and coming singer-songwriters to come out of Sydney, she was animatedly embraced by the (admittedly quite queer) Astor crowd where her idiosyncratic humour and realness set up a nice, enthusiastic and inviting atmosphere to the night that not even the breaking of a guitar string halfway through could halter.
Hit singles Already Home, Not Worth Hiding and Happy Song were greeted with the kind of enthusiasm that shows Alex is already more than just an average opening-act performance. She is not only an incredible bare bones soloist, but also a queer icon thanks to Not Worth Hiding, who is carving the way for other LGBT artists in the music scene. Alex the Astronaut is the political songwriter of the new era. Wry and witty, at times uncomfortably honest but also a brilliant musician who talks to the wider issues but also small personal stories that define our lives.
Vera Blue’s (Celia Pavey) multi-sensory performance brought a dynamic and intoxicating atmosphere to the Astor Theatre’s stage. An ethereal voice, effervescent pink one piece outfit, strobe lighting spectacle and mesmerising energy accompanied her pop/folk/electronica fusion.
From Lady Powers to Hold, to some new and unreleased singles, Vera Blue had the crowd enchanted and grooving to her raw lyrics and heart enthralling depictions of love, loss and power. With such a stage presence and unique voice, that I can imagine is reshaped for each performance, Vera attracts a crowd of returning and new fans that truly appreciate her entrancing melodies and performance prowess.
Vera and Alex are part of a growing legion of female artists who are redefining the landscape of Australian music. Whether it be Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin or Celia Pavey, this new generation of songwriters are bringing honesty, wit, truth, power, love and awe-inspiring music to our ears while at the same time delivering something special, personal and unique that truly has to be seen to be believed.
Photos by Linda Dunjey