KINGS PARK BOTANICAL GARDENS
Photos by Caris Morcombe
I would like everyone to hit the pause button for a moment, stop whatever it is you’re doing and spend some time thinking about connectedness – what is it that joins you or links you to the people, the groups, the objects, the ideologies, the corporations, the countries, and the ground upon which you stand. What kinds of connectedness have you fostered? I would have liked to have had the opportunity to ask this question of Missy Higgins and her supporting acts Coterie, Didirri, and Meg Mac in person, however after witnessing each of them upon the stage today, it is clear to me that as musicians, they all have something in common – kinship, not just by blood but by connectedness too.
When you think about the state of the world today and how we might move forward, into the future; there’s a kind of connectivity here, that is born from the music…between everyone, the energy is so positive and I feel like it’s uniting us. It gives me hope, surely that’s the answer…Connectedness….surely that’s our way forward.Missy Higgins
There is only one true universal language. Not everyone can read it or write it but we all recognise it. It speaks to every single one of us and when heard, it has the ability to unite people and so, for me, this is the most relevant language in existence today – It is music. The language of music is powerful and it has the propensity to be the cross-cultural medium that helps us unite on a global scale because let’s face it; there are global issues that need the attention of everyone, that require a united front in order for the resolutions to be achievable and right now, there is simply not a platform upon which we can stand together. So, why not let music be that platform, or at least one of the vehicles that delivers us to it.
Higgins speaks of this throughout her performance, as she chats with the audience members in between songs. She talks about her life experiences, she shares stories gained whilst travelling, she speaks of her heart and the place that she feels is it’s home, she remarks upon the sublimeness of nature and she eloquently expresses to the crowd her thoughts about the vibe that she is feeling on stage. Higgins States: “When you think about the state of the world today and how we might move forward, into the future; there’s a kind of connectivity here, that is born from the music…between everyone, the energy is so positive and I feel like it’s uniting us. It gives me hope, surely that’s the answer…Connectedness….surely that’s our way forward.”
Higgins has a friendly demeanour on stage, she seems very comfortable and openly jokes around with the audience and backing support. Beginning with the song she wrote when she was 19 years old, Katie, Higgins has the audience’s full attention. The Venue, Kings Park Botanical Gardens, was sold out and when viewing the scene from the merchandise tent, there was not one free spot on the grass or in the seating areas. I stood here for a little while, amused by the small fenced off area tucked up in black plastic and perched atop the Western hill – there is one entrance to this area and it is adorned with a sign “Smoking Compound.” There are clearly a lot of people inside the “compound” as I can hear them singing along with Higgins. They can’t see her on the stage but that doesn’t seem to matter as she plays a mixture of old favourites that have them singing along as if they are anthems from their youth.
Back in my seat, I watched on as Higgins sung – I have to admit, I enjoyed her songs and I commend her relaxed, “talking to them as if they’re friends who have known her for a long time” interactions with the audience however I couldn’t stop thinking about how incredible the earlier supporting acts were. Coterie, Didirri, and Meg Mac were outstanding – they were fresh – and they too had a decent crowd of people there to see them perform from the very beginning. Didirri’s presence on stage was enigmatic and as I listened to the chatter amongst the crowds I could hear people talking enthusiastically about his musicality. An all-round sweet guy, Didirri made himself available….he actively sought connectedness…he did something you rarely see artists doing – he sat in the Merch tent and gave out free hugs. All Musicians – please note – Hugs are ALWAYS popular.
And then there was Meg Mac….the dance floor filled up quickly for her act and she gave a flawless performance. It was a novelty to hear people chanting the name of her sister “Hannah, Hannah, Hannah” and shouting out “HANNAH WE LOVE YOU.” I don’t think Meg Mac minded, she never performs without her and I cannot imagine Meg Mac alone on the stage without her sister.
Coterie, a local Perth Band, features; Tyler (Guitars & Vocals), Joshua (Synth & Piano), Brandford (Bass), and Conrad (Lead Guitar). These guys are so humble and when chatting to them after their set, I am struck by their respectful demeanours, their kindness and their humour. They are brothers born into a musical family and my instincts tell me that if they couldn’t have music in their lives then their hearts would be broken, their souls would be without a compass and their journeys through life would be without direction and lacking connectedness. With each of them possessing intrinsic vocal abilities, they harmonise with each other perfectly and with lyrics that are experiential and relatable their sound is smooth, enticing and emotionally raw. Coterie is the standout band for me at this event, more then any of the others – they’re the ones that have stuck in my mind and left a mark. It is obvious to me that they live and breathe music and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for their upcoming Residency at El Grotto later this year.