Live Review: Ali Barter, Brightness

19 December 2016 | 3:18 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"Well-crafted, clever tracks delivered by someone that is ready to go massive next year."

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Brightness is probably false advertising. Perhaps this one man act from Lake Macquarie, otherwise known as Alex Knight, used his profession as a window cleaner to come up with the moniker. Nonetheless, his name matches the venue and he warmed up the crowd on a steamy Friday evening.

Alex Knight and a Cole Clark acoustic keep us intrigued. His songs are a beautifully precise display of finger-picking, warm chord progressions and dancing melodies. Certainly obtaining such a solid support will only give him extra exposure, and deservedly so. Oblivion pricks up our ears, because despite the downbeat lyrics, it's an enriching tune. One to watch.

2016 will go down as a year that female musicians in this country tipped the scales. Simply put, female musicians have bypassed their male counterparts in almost every facet of the industry, bar the most important. Recognition. Heading the growing wave of hugely talented Australian women is Ali Barter. Over the last four years, Barter has stepped up from solo singer-songwriter gems to full-band rock tracks that display not only her writing chops, but allow her to unleash on stage.

Kicking off her set with Hypercolour, Barter, now ably accompanied by four other band members, really beefs up the sound. Don't let her appearance fool you, she can belt out a track and we are treated to a bunch of new ones from a debut album that is tentatively slated for March 2017.

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Instructing her band to "get off", we are taken back to the title-track from her Community EP after some tuning assistance from guitarist Ross Beaton. We are reminded what a gorgeously fragile voice Barter can also produce.

Girlie Bits launches us into the second half of the set and from there it's a rocking ride to the end with Far Away. Lots of tasty new morsels to look forward to and the charisma and presence of Barter keeps the sold-out Brighton Up crowd enthralled and dancing. Well-crafted, clever tracks delivered by someone that is ready to go massive next year.