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LIVE: SKYE & ROSS – PIAF2017, Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth, 12 Feb 2017

| 14 February 2017 | Reply

LIVE: SKYE & ROSS – PIAF2017, Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth, 12 Feb 2017
With Lilt, Elli Schoen and Benjamin Witt
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photos by Matsu Photography

Despite a shaky start due to unseasonably stormy weather washing Friday night’s line-up out, the Perth International Arts Festival was well under way by Sunday, with a transcendent line-up of appealing and engaging talent.

Benjamin Witt opened proceedings on the free Garden Stage in the Chevron Festival Gardens courtyard, treating early comers to some cool laid-back tunes whilst they enjoyed a glass of wine and a nibble from the food outlets under the beautifully clear, slightly balmy night sky.

Elli Schoen and band were captivating, a minimalist sound from primal drummer Anthony Doherty, Bill Christensen’s sax and James Dunn’s keys giving full focus to her haunting vocals, boosted by backing vocalist Jade Richards and some simple-yet-effective guitar. Schoen’s melodies are beautiful, with recent single Mumma closing her set on an indie pop high with dancing and singing from an enchanted crowd.

Electronica trio Lilt opened the Main Stage like they were born to be there, Elfin singer Louise Penman dancing and prowling through billowing smoke clouds pierced by spears of yellow and pink light. Booming drummer Brett Walsh and electronics whizz Matt McLean lay down a riveting musical score to match the atmospheric light show, while Penman’s mesmerising vocals and inventive guitar betray not a hint of the nerves she confesses to feeling in such esteemed company. So High, Don’t Tell Me and Powerless are powerful and brave, and the crowd was buzzing with new fans after their set finished.

Keeping the beguiling theme of the evening’s entertainment going strong is Skye & Ross – Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey, or, if you like, Morcheeba in all but name. Legalities may have tied up them using the name Morcheeba after co-founder Paul Godfrey quit a few years ago, but there are no such impediments to playing their old material, which now sounds more electric and organic, with less reliance on electronic elements than ever before.

Godfrey’s bluesy slide guitar fits perfectly in the trippy, stoner cool of Morcheeba’s sound, and Edwards’ hubby Steve Gordon and eldest son Jaega on bass and drums lay down a pulsating and hypnotically alluring backbone. Ben Cowen provides keys, but most eyes are on Edwards, clad in tight, tassled black leather, her cropped head and beaming smile presenting a striking vision as she strolls the stage with feline grace, singing, chatting, and joking with the crowd, and enjoying a few sips of Patron tequila with her bandmates.

New songs from their Skye & Ross album (All My Days, Light Of Gold, How To Fly) mingle seamlessly with Morcheeba classics (Trigger Hippy, World Looking In, Part Of The Process, The Sea, Blindfold, Let Me See) and a joyously funky Let’s Dance pays respectful tribute to David Bowie.

This is PIAF in a microcosm: new artists shoulder-to-shoulder with established acts; local talent showcased alongside international drawcards; great music that is inventive and unique, yet complementary. PIAF reminds us that the arts are the heart and soul of our community, and this was a hypnotically enthralling way for us to start the 2017 festival.

Skye & Ross Set list:

Trigger Hippy
World Looking In
All My Days
Part Of The Process
The Sea
Light of Gold
Let’s Dance
How to Fly
Let Me See

Clear My Mind (acoustic)
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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