Harry Hookey has been touring his Misdiagnosed album all over the country since it’s release and tonight’s opening slot for partner Kasey Chambers was an opportunity to reach a wide demographic of music fan. The majority of the seated crowd responded warmly to Hookey’s enthusiastic performance, genial stage manner and the memorable melodies he embeds in his songs. With vocal phrasings that were at times Dylan-esque and occasionally in the middle of the road he showed his versatility in the both the folk and acoustic rock realm.
In 2014 Kasey Chambers’ Bittersweet album garnered an ARIA award yet she was frustratingly prevented from touring it due to vocal problems. That is evidently now well behind her as she delivered a set spanning her solo career plus a week-old new song and a cover of White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. The ace in her pack is her new band that (as always) includes father Bill Chambers plus Central Coast blues duo Grizzlee Train on guitar/banjo and drums/percussion. The latter brought a new energy and youthful exuberance to Chambers songs, old and new. From the opening weight of recent single Wheelbarrow to those wounded ballads Not Pretty Enough and The Captain and the captivating new song Behind The Eyes Of Henry Young, Chambers completely owned the stage. She looked perfectly at ease, bending that twang-heavy voice into heartbreaking and fragile shapes one minute and an uninhibited holler the next. Her demeanour on stage was part humble country queen and part slightly dorky mother of three as she regaled the Enmore Theatre with tales of her crush on Criminal Minds’ Dr. Spencer Reid and the admission that if she had to play only one song every night it would be The Captain. Chambers’ seasoned professionalism and genuine humility shone through in a performance that caused tears of both laughter and pain.
this review was first published in The Music