Sunday, 18 April 2010

Review | Sarah Blasko

by Ashlea Maher, 18th April 2010. Photography by Shannon Crane. 

Sarah Blasko @ Islington Academy
15 April

Oh, do I feel fulfilled. After a healthy dose of Sarah Blasko, I'm high.

I feel cleansed and warm, my heart's throbbing and I'm on top of the world. What legal drug can do that? My name is Ashlea, and I'm a Blaskoholic. One of the last things I did before coming to the UK was buy Blasko's latest album, Day Follows Night. After four months in Europe last summer I planned my arrival in the UK to compliment her last London performance, only to be rudely exposed to the fact that London gigs sell out well in advance.

Trying to keep my cravings at bay, I felt lucky just to be part of the packed Islington Academy crowd. And as the lady who kept me company on many a European train and plane journey began performing songs which were the soundtrack to many of my overseas memories, my head began to spin. Only the best was to do for Blasko.

Instilling the help of the Blasko Orchestra, she was accompanied by a pianist on a baby grand, a violin orchestra, double bassist, drummer and guitarist. As the lights dim, it was like being shouted a top shelf tipple by a French bachelor. After the first few hits: 'Down On Love', 'Bird On A Wire' and 'Hold On My Heart', I was relaxed and ready for a bit of a goofy sway and sing-along.

Losing inhibitions, I let out a loose "wahoo!" in the chorus of like-minded appreciations, which according to Blasko is a uniquely Aussie audience accolade. I didn't care, I was high. 'Sleeper Awake' was a sobering moment, as Blasko asked the crowd to hush and dedicated the song to anyone feeling sad. However, the mood raised again for 'I Never Knew', 'All I Want' and 'No Turning Back'. 

Now engrossed in passion, her progression into what she called the "uncool cabaret" set segment, featuring covers of Diana Keaton's 'Seems like old times' and ABBA's 'Xanadu' called for substance abuse confessions. "I love Olivia Newton-John. But not in Xanadu. She was great in Grease," Blasko offered. Keeping the crowd happy, she finished the set with her previous hits 'All Coming Back', 'Amazing Things' and '{Explain}' as a non-encore.

All class. Now the house lights break the Blasko binge session, but I'm still riding high. While Blasko may define her music as tragically uncool it is still a guilty pleasure for me. A wholesome treat for any addict!

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