GIG REVIEW: KIMBRA (Darling Harbour, Dec 2016)
BAND: Kimbra VENUE: Tumbalong Park stage, Darling Harbour DATE: 11th December, 2016 It’s a sunny and hot Sunday afternoon in Sydney-town, and in the heart of the city something strange is happening; our benevolent overlords have allowed for some musical frivolity to commemorate the Celebrate Darling Harbour event, officially marking the opening of the new Darling Harbour precinct. And the site of said frivolity is the newly revitalised Tumbalong Park, conveniently surrounded by bars, restaurants – and for today only, some food trucks and a bunch of people wearing pastel coloured baseball caps.
While there’s a few clusters of crowds about, it’s not exactly busy which is especially surprising considering who is about to hit the stage for a free performance – New-Zealand darling Kimbra. Maybe we can blame the lack of crowds on the heat (or maybe it’s the fact there was next to no advertising), but amidst the sleepy afternoon the Grammy-nominated goddess takes to the stage after some earlier performances throughout the day from The Hot Potato Band, the Jannawi Dance Clan and The Jitterbugs.
Clad in what has become pretty standard attire (a giant puffy shirt/jacket, feather collar and dizzyingly high Lady GaGa-esque boots), Kimbra ebbs and flows with velvet precision, rolling out her classics as well as some newer tracks – including her latest single 'Sweet Relief'.
Backed by a full band and with the lady herself on loop and tambourine duty, her songs are catchy, unpredictable and just a whole lotta fun. Her older hits like 'Miracle' and 'Settle Down' draw more of a vibe from the sun-drenched crowd, and even the few technical glitches don’t seem to be enough to shatter the pure joy pulsing through Darling Harbour. It’s been two years since Kimbra has graced our shores, and it’s a pretty special sight to be in reaching distance of this zany, diverse creature on a golden afternoon.
BY TIANA SPETER