First up on the music menu Thursday night at Marketta was the gorgeous and charming Hayley Heynderickx, all the way from Portland USA on her first visit to our shores. Think Angel Olsen meets Joni Mitchell; her delicate yet compelling vocals and quirky songs sufficiently proved to be a wonderful entree. Cyndi Lauper’s ‘flash back warm nights, time after time’ rippled from the speakers as Angie McMahon and her three piece band made their way on stage.
In her easygoing red suit and matching red guitar, McMahon approached the microphone languidly, delivered a Welcome to Country, strummed the guitar gently and sang the opening lines to ‘Play the Game’ from her debut album ‘Salt’. McMahon introduced her next song with a moving personal story about trying to fall in love with someone who “understood her” at the tender age of 19. Pouring her heart out into the lyrics “I’d like to have real love someday”, she stirred up an emotional response from a nearby male audience member, who let out a “fuck yeah.”
McMahon has a way of connecting with the audience that’s affecting, communicating to individuals and the entire room with nothing but her truth. As she bantered with the audience while tuning her guitar, she thanked the lovely people at Marketta for making her delicious calamari for dinner before setting the room on fire with her hit ‘Slow Mover’. No shortage of added vocals on this one as the chorus of the adoring crowd joined in.
Angie then introduced her wonderful band, Olivia Hally on keyboard, Alex on Bass and Lachlan O’Kane on drums. A self confessed lover of performing covers, McMahon tells us the band will be in the triple j studios tomorrow to perform their Like a Version. We were treated to the bands version of Neil Young’s ‘Helpless, the harmonies beautiful and O’Kanes drums incredible, and the lesser known Fleetwood Mac track ‘Silver Springs’ which the band really made their own.
McMahon thought out loud following her angst driven lyrics in ‘Push’ telling us that sometimes she feels like a sociopath singing Emo lines with a smile on her face. Just when McMahon becalemd us with her vocals we were jolted from our daydreams to the opening hard hitting guitar chords of ‘Missing Me’. We were then treated to a new track ‘Patrick’, a work in progress that only exists in the cloud. It’s about siblings and how difficult they can be – again something we can all relate to. McMahon confided that her siblings were a little injured when she first played it for them.
McMahon performed her favourite track from the album ‘And I am a Woman’ – the soul baring response to her anger about the bodies we have being treated as commodities not personal temples or safe sanctuaries. For the finale, the hugely popular ‘Pasta’ was well rocked out to, followed by a beautiful Lullaby ‘If You Call’, which we were all encouraged to whistle along to as we left. Angie McMahon and her band were an amazing celebration of great Australian music.