Gaby Moreno, Katherine Priddy – Brunswick Ballroom. 15 March 2022
Review: Greg Phillips. Photos: Jason Rosewarne.
Direct from her acclaimed performances at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, it was Melbourne’s turn to enjoy the amazingly talented singer, songwriter, guitarist Gaby Moreno, back in Australia for the first time since 2019.
Opening up with the powerful slow burner Nobody to Love from her 2016 album Illusion, the enthralled seated audience at the Brunswick Ballroom greeted Gaby enthusiastically. Pale Brights Lights, a fave from Gaby’s last Australian tour followed. El Sombreron came soon after, a dark song Gaby wrote surrounding an old Spanish language tale about a tiny, creepy guitar-playing guy with a huge sombrero who sneaks into women’s bedrooms to plaid their hair!
Gaby releases a new album soon, written, recorded and self-produced during the pandemic and many of those new tracks were given a run through tonight, one for the very first time. Across The Border a song written by Ry Cooder, which she recorded with Jackson Browne on her Van Dyke Parks produced and arranged album Spangled, displayed Gaby’s exceptional use of dynamics and had the crowd wrapped around her finger in no time.
Til The Waking Light, a song from the upcoming album highlighted her incredible vocal range. The proudly Guatemalan born singer can not only reach some mighty impressive notes but can also sustain them with a ridiculous amount of control. Then with just the slightest of key changes, can bring a tear to your eye.
Gaby’s impressive ’power trio’, which toured Australia with her in 2019 were back again tonight and included Sebastian Aymanns on drums, Kimon Kirk on bass and later in the show were joined by Melbourne-based guitarist Sam Lemann.
Closing the night with Nobody’s Wrong, the rockin’, fun current single from the new album and a fabulous version of Bowie’s Five Years, the audience leapt to their feet to applaud a truly unique performer and vocal stylist.
Earlier in the evening support act, Birmingham-based folk singer, guitarist Katherine Priddy impressed many with her enchanting, ethereal tones. Katherine has previously supported the likes of The Chieftains, Martin Carthy, and Vashti Bunyan and has been personally endorsed by folk legend Richard Thompson. We hope to see Katherine return to Australia sooner rather than later.