Kaki KingI had heard the name, Kaki King, floating about in conversation over the last few years, but couldn’t remember why or who or where exactly she came into my colloquial existence. So when I told mates about my latest opportunity with Australian Stage, I was pleasantly relieved to hear that some of them had seen her in the recent past. After watching her last night, I can see how the conversations about her past performances would be significant enough to be etched on my memory, despite the fact that I wasn’t the lucky concertgoer in question. This woman is phenomenal.

I sat there waiting, as the Visy Theatre filled with a variety of young and old music lovers, with no solid idea about who or what I was about to see and hear. As the young Kaki King, graced the stage with her chilled presence I began a journey. There is something magic about her instrumental compositions that evoked for me, not only a variety of emotions, but allowed me to create stories. I sat there with my eyes shut, sitting at the beach, hitchhiking, and perhaps tribal dancing at times. All the while, astounded at the natural way in which it all occurred. There I was catching myself with an ignited imagination, and as a child of the theatre, this means I was inspired.

Then there were the moments when she told us the stories, where we heard tales of her current European tour, and her relatives’ antics. Not only is her stage presence comical and sincere, but candid, current and full of verbal diarrhea. Kaki King did more for me in her low key, chilled mode, than some of the more commercial, hype driven concerts I have seen in my time. I put this down to the fact the she is not only incredibly talented (there are no 3-chord songs here) but in terms of creativity, her cup runneth over. This is what music should be about.

I question the use of smoke machines in the show. I heard them distributing the artificial atmosphere throughout, and wondered why King decided to use them at all. I believe her and her guitars would have been plenty. I cannot comment on the musical technicalities or skill that she did or didn’t display. I can say she is highly admired by professional guitarists I know and that all I could do was sit in awe as her fingers took on a multiplicity of chords and melodies.

Her music may not be to everyone’s taste, as I think its fair to say she is outside of “pop” circles. Some might find her a little too “arty” for their liking and as a small selection of audience members left prematurely, I wondered if they were disappointed, or perhaps realizing the hour was late for a school night. However, she was just my cup of tea, so for me the worst I can say about the concert was that due to a full house, seating was a little squishier than normal. I recommend people see Kaki King wherever she is playing, because if nothing else, you will be astounded at the way a guitar can sound, at the way she can manipulate the strings and ultimately at her music.

Brisbane Powerhouse and Top Shelf present

Venue: Visy Theatre
Date: Thu 22 + Fri 23 Nov
Time: 8.30pm
Tickets: $32
Bookings: 07 3358 8600 or brisbanepowerhouse.org

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