Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Thu 29 Oct.
Supporting Katie Noonan’s Vanguard is MKO-SUN a.k.a. Hannah Macklin, a sonic songstress reminiscent of Björk. Appearing sans band MKO delivered a layered, multi-dimensional sound that was heartfelt, quirky and, at times, broody, with moments of transcendent bliss, followed by some seriously low tones on the keys that shook you to the core. Although unfamiliar with her work I felt that I was taken on a journey with stories of daring to dream and jumping puddles, and of feline love with her cover of Thunder Cat’s Tron Song about.
Emerging in 2011 MKO has spent time in New York and it shows in her music, and it’s clear that she has been influenced by some of the great R&B artists that went before her. She told of losing her father in 2014 and how her journey through the loss has inspired her third EP to be released at the end of the year. I was reminded of the soundtrack to the TV series Twin Peaks, with those haunting refrains that leave you feeling as if the notes were lingering after the song had ended. The name MKO SUN, while eclectic, is clearly one to remember.
Katie Noonan began her set by showing what a down-to-earth gal she is by asking the folks outside in the beer garden “are you guys here for the show?”, and she meant it.
Kicking off the set with Radar Katie talked of being in Sydney’s Kings Cross and missing her boys was the inspiration for the song. If anyone had momentarily forgotten how her voice can soar, they were certainly reminded right from the outset.
Falling Into A Lie was written in McLaren Vale’s Wirra Wirra Winery over a bottle or two of Church Block last year. It was easy to develop a severe case of shaker envy as she played a syncopated rhythm and sang like an angel. Katie cracked jokes about bum seats, ‘80s synthesiser songs, and asked us which is our weirdest shopping centre (Tea Tree Plaza apparently) and all the while continued to mesmerise us with her lilting, ethereal and dulcet tones. Peace Is My Drug had a sense of swimming in Neptune’s garden, while Island was the first rockier song of the night, complete with fuzzy muff pedal and a driving other-worldly rhythm.
Katie’s band, consisting Stu Hunter on keyboards/bass, (and sometimes chair!) Declan Kelly on drums/percussion/vocals and Peter Koopman on guitars were outstanding, and followed her every step of the way without missing a beat.
The performance by Katie Noonan’s Vanguard was delivered with an extremely beautiful sound throughout.
Lily de Leo