She wears a gold sequined dress and a halo of blonde hair. She is dreamy, feisty, and knows a thing or two. Quite simply, Abby Dobson glows.
It’s over a decade since Dobson fronted the Australian band Leonardo’s Bride with the memorable single Even When I’m Sleeping. Last year Dobson released her debut solo album Rise Up. Supported by her band, her recent show at the Spiegeltent gives an all-too-short taste of this album as well as re-visiting a few of the songs from her past.
Supporting Dobson and her own guitar are three unassuming fellows; one on cello, one on bass and one on keyboard. Their anticipation of each other is great and rightfully, each is given ample opportunity to display their individual brilliance.
The majority of Dobson’s songs are full of whimsy and in these the lyrics are not particularly profound; their rhyming sentences give them a rather innocent, if not childlike quality. But they are delightful and the song High Like Heaven, with its talk of jumping over four leaf clovers, and the dreamy Cloud Watching, are fine examples.
Most exhilarating is the way Dobson’s vocals so often teeter on an undefinable edge. As she pushes her notes and words they take the audience to a distant and otherwise undiscovered realm before returning them, warmly, to reality. Because of this, songs like Shining Star and Whisper Nothing move without definition from lullaby to darkness and back again.
This is Dobson’s stage, Dobson’s show. You can sit and listen or you can accept the dare; let her take hold and take you away. For the audience, the end of each song is a chance to finally exhale, and do so, for in a show as compelling as Dobson’s the moments where breathing comes easily are few and far between.
the Arts Centre and Spiegeltent International present
Venue: The Arts Centre Forecourt, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Date/Time: Thurs 27 Nov at 9.30pm
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 136 166 or www.ticketmaster.com.au