Gin Wigmore live @ The Gaellic Club- review 7/12/2009
Gin Wigmore @ The Gaelic, 4/12/2009
by Marc Knevett
A small stage, a bustling crowd and backing band in position, armed with their instruments of choice. Under normal circumstances it wouldn’t seem fitting for a pint-sized Kiwi songstress to be the missing element in this equation, but as Gin Wigmore’s petite and ever so slightly tattooed frame cut through the abstract smoke and light to assume her centre-stage position, one thing became very clear; expectations were futile and normalcy would not be flavour of the night.
Straight into song with little fanfare, Hey Oh shimmied and sassed with Gin’s raspy, soulful vocals, before thanking her adopted home town for their support. Fact is, where a lot of pop-based acts have trouble transferring the energy, atmosphere and sound of their recorded tunes into the live arena, Gin excelled at all three (with a little help from ex-Ryan Adam’s associates/legendary rockers The Cardinals).
The short but sweet set at Sydney’s The Gaelic saw Gin cruising back and forth through tracks from her album Holy Smoke and last years EP Extended Play. Highlights include ukulele laden Lucy, the soothing and humble SOS and the thumping, swaggering tour de force of her single Oh My.
While her voice may be cut from that over-referenced Duffy/Winehouse cloth, its pleasance is immediate and its husky-come-quirky-pitched range lends itself to the multitude of genres that Gin explored throughout the night, from pop to blues to alt-country to folk and back again.
Time spent between tracks saw a whole lot of pithy banter; whether cooing over a couple in the front row or mocking the class in her Jacob’s Creek-in-a-plastic-cup consumerism, she was never too far from a giggle inducing quip.
Perhaps as equally exciting as Gin’s musical offerings was her sheer presence - the woman is quite an enigmatic character; one that’s as hard to define as it is easy to love. She brims with a fiery confidence, a fuse so much bigger than her body would infer, but it never wanders past the girl-next-door variety thereof. She’s sassy, she’s sexy, she’s empowered, funny and enticing and all the while accessible; a cutesy-country bumpkin with a lick of dirty and a wink, if you will. Sure, she’s loaded with contradictions but that’s all part of her appeal.
Truth be told, this would have been a dicey affair in the wrong hands, but Gin is a class act, a one punch KO of talent and as far from a one-trick pony as it gets. The night was a raucous celebration of her infectious tunes, delivered with commanding gusto to a crowd who gladly devoured it, note-for-note.
Normalcy averted, and delightfully so.