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Katie Noonan, Jack Carty - 505

Jun 16th 2013 | Lorin Reid
The troubadour and barefoot bush poet Jack Carty (“it's like 'party' with a 'C' at the front”) opened with What Does Your Heart Say from his new EP and continued, with acoustic guitar in hand, into a romantic set of melancholy-tinged fables. His cheeky wit allowed the intimate crowd to relax and have a giggle, while his flawless falsetto and harmonica on a brand new ballad called The Universe was breathtaking.

Katie Noonan and her gentle operatic vocals ringing out with only piano for accompaniment sounded too pure, too high-pitched and too exquisite to be true. She paused after a calm and adorned rendition of Emperor's Box requested by Julie in memory of her dad, and looking out at the awed crowd said, “Thanks for being so freakishly quiet!” She filled her set with gorgeous anecdotes so that the performance became a rollicking conversation, from meeting the Dalai Lama earlier that day, to the name of KimYe's baby.

The night was structured around songs requested by fans ahead of time via Facebook so that Noonan, with her shock of red curls and matching boots, ended up with an eclectic mix of stripped back versions. One highlight was Special Ones – originally a symphonic mix of sound – ad-libbed into an almost spontaneous, improvised vocal performance. She struggled graciously through the chromatic piano lines of Paul McCartney's Blackbird for one crowd member's birthday, and played a beautiful new ballad about watching her children play in the sun, amongst crowd favourites full of jazzy dissonance, scatting and tinkering on the keys.

Katie Noonan wove an intimate and down-to-earth performance where she engaged harmoniously with the eager audience, concluding with a gentle 505 community choir singalong of her hit song, Breathe In Now.

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