If this first show (Tivoli Friday May 31) of Martha Wainwright’s Australian tour is anything to go by, the rest of the country is in for a real treat.
Melbourne indie group Brighter Later opened the night with their brand of warm electro-pop before Martha took the stage to raucous applause. Jumping straight into ‘Four Black Sheep’, she played songs from her latest album, ‘Come Home To Mama’, as well as a few old favourites.
Between numbers, Martha had the crowd laughing with impromptu banter about underwear, taking acid and joking with bass player/ husband, Brad Albetta. Her stage presence can be described as nothing short of charming and she exudes aninfectious playfulness.
The performance was also the debut for Martha’s first Australian band mate, pianist Ben Grayson. After a slew of songs including, ‘Leave Behind’, ‘Jesus And Mary’ and ‘Ball And Chain’, the rest of the band left the stage while Martha and Ben performed three Edith Piaf songs from ‘Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record’.
Personally, this was the real highlight of the evening; her ability to cover Piaf’s unique voice is truly uncanny. She rounded out the night with a few solo acoustic pieces which included a song from a musical written by her mother and sister, as well as one from ‘Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert For Kate McGarrigle’. This show is a must-see for any Martha Wainwright fan.
PHOTOS: JOSH SALMON