Gig: Kate Miller-Heidke with Mikki Ross and End Of Fashion
Venue: The Hi-Fi bar, Melbourne, Australia
Date: 1 May 2009
In one word: Front-bottom!
I must admit I have no idea who Kate Miller-Heidke is and what she sounds like. I’ve seen her posters everywhere and her ads in the music press of both Perth and Melbourne. Her artwork is intriguing and draws thoughts of some electro pin-up similar to Lady Gaga, or perhaps an indie princess like Mia Riddle.
It’s a cold night and I’ve invested in gloves, scarf and a ‘Freo’ hat – that being the nickname of Fremantle football club. (That’s not football with the round ball though, because Australians are a bit like Americans in that they both have their own version of football.) Did you read my last review where I mentioned we had to go all the way home to get our passports and missed the first two bands? This time we came prepared and they didn’t even check ’em, what a bummer!
Enter the venue and check out the scene, Mikki Ross is playing but he sounds like a CD. An excellent mix I must tell you and commend the fantastic sound person at the Hi-Fi! Anyways, Mikki Ross is intensely brilliant – like a musical or theatre or something like that. It’s not often you get to see a support act with a full stage consisting of mini-tent and such amazingly crafted songs.
He sounds a bit like Mariah or Elton, not a bad thing if you can pull it off and oh man this guy can! His songs seem to tell a story throughout and all the songs connect onto each other as he dances and jives around like a puppet on strings and finishes off his set with a Wacko Jacko parody of Beat It complete with erratic dancing and a shit-load of energy . This is a guy to look out for.
The next support is a band called End Of Fashion and by the crowd reaction I assume they’re fairly well-known. They sound a bit like McFly if they listened to the Pixies; poppy and shit but it’s all a bit discording, like the notes don’t go where you think they will and sound a bit bittersweet. Do you get what I mean? I don’t really but it sounds kinda clever doesn’t it?
“End Of Fashion are quite good but my girlfriend hates them – I don’t think I’ll be allowed to see them again.”
Anyways, their songs are pretty textured like full of woah’s, overlapping guitars and poppy melodies. A bit like REM, One Man Army in others, and elsewhere a bit like those post-Brit-pop bands like Travis too. Oh yeah there’s some surf rock in there too. They’re quite good but my girlfriend hates them – I don’t think I’ll be allowed to see them again. in places, a bit like
The screaming fuckwit girl infront of me likes them anyway, it’s not like they’re The Beatles but for some reason she’s screaming her little head off. What’s that all about?
I must mention the aforementioned amazing sound person also happens to be the SHITTIEST lighting person I’ve ever seen. Why put all the good light on the drummer and light as fuck PURPLE lights on the front of stage? What’s that all about? I don’t mind seeing the drummer but I don’t want to just see the drummer and his utter Michael Stipe face. Even lighting works best for me and my camera is a pile of crap so I got like no good photos!!!
The pure madness of the crowd at Hi-Fi builds up and the place is literally packed, all for a girl I assumed was a tiny indie person or too cool for other people to know about. Is she gonna come out and kick me in the face and piss on the audience? Whothefuckissheandwhatdoesshesoundlike!??!?!?!?!? Ahhhhh the wait is almost over!!!
Finally Kate Miller-Heidke takes to the stage in full ballerina type frills and converse and pulls it off way better than that sack of shit Lily Allen. Ms Miller-Heidke has quite a stage presence and wows the crowd and most definitely myself with her first song. She comes on stage with her backing singer/acoustic guitarist who looks a bit like Juliet Lewis but without a sack face and plays a beautiful piano ballad. Wow what a voice on that small pretty young girl.
After this the rest of her band take to the stage and play poppy music which sounds like sinister children’s songs with definitely the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard live. Her music is happy and singalong and just throws me to the ground at her pure excellence.
I came to this venue with complete apprehension of what I might find and luckily I came across this total gem.
“…such nice music with such a naughty narrator, I couldn’t help but grin like an utter bastard the whole time listening to her.”
A few songs in she plays a song she wrote the other night which aforementioned fuckwit child seems to know all the words to already: the YouTube age is actually insane! It’s brilliant though, it’s about an ex-boyfriend who was a total dick trying to add her on Facebook! She has such a great way with words and due to my personal mental preference I took great delight at hearing the line “I certainly don’t want to you to poke me”. YES!
More sexual lyrics follow as in another song she asks her crush to touch her in the “front bottom” and she gets on a swearing rampage by saying shit in another song. It’s adorable – such nice music with such a naughty narrator, I couldn’t help but grin like an utter bastard the whole time listening to her.
I forgot to mention, her normal singing voice is excellent and fits her songs perfectly but at a few points in the set she whips out her classically trained operatic motherfuckers of tonsils and quite literally hits the highest notes imaginable. I said earlier she was easily the best singer I’ve ever seen like and believe me when I say this, she kinda sounds like Kate Bush with the fashion sensibility of Amanda Palmer. Make sense?
“Kate Miller-Heidke is probably the most essential artist in Australia today and why she isn’t all that known the UK or elsewhere is totally dumbfounding.”
Let me recap on it all; I want to basically express my opinion that Kate Miller-Heidke is probably the most essential artist in Australia today and why she isn’t all that known the UK or elsewhere is totally dumbfounding. [Though I heard her and her man won a prestigious song-writing contest in the USA the other day.] I hope to be able to cover her and her absolutely brilliant band again soon.
Kate Miller-Heidke (I still can’t pronounce it) is someone that you must see before losing the will to live after seeing way too many crap crust bands who only have a 1,000,000,000th of the talent she possesses in her front bottom alone.
© Danny Crombie, Music Vice