Live Review: Bloom

20 November 2015 | 3:39 pm | Christopher H James

"Salamander Song... not only laments the passing of a pet but wishes that fate had befallen her ex instead."

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A record launch is always a watershed moment for any budding artist or band, and for Amanda Canzurlo's Bloom, it's one that they clearly wanted to share on stage with close friends and local inspirations. Firstly, folk-popsters The Hunting Birds charmed Ellington with well written songs and a nuanced performance, closing their set with the bitter but uplifting From The Ashes.

Being half-Italian and half-Scottish might explain some of the similarities between Julius Lutero and legendary Scot folkie John Martyn — and not just his shaggy yet subtly manicured looks. There were shades of Martyn's influence in Lutero's resonating guitar work and heartbreaking ballads.

Bloom's Amanda Canzurlo is positioned beside a terraced array of candles amidst a trail of pale white fairy lights,  and her goth-tinged pop contained numerous warnings, particularly Cheating Heart which cautioned not to piss off a singer, lest she put it in a song. It also expressed her belief that if we talked about problems more with strangers, we'd find that we have more in common than we thought. Bloom's set climaxed with an entrancing take on Ghost, a simulation of that suspenseful moment when the significance of a loss crystallises. There was a happy end though, as being the birthday girl, Canzurlo was presented with a sensational-looking surprise cake as she reeled off her thanks yous.

Melbourne's Shelley Segal proved her exceptionally resourceful songwriting with the sassy and downright provocative Wiggle Room and Salamander Song, which not only laments the passing of a pet but wishes that fate had befallen her ex instead. She demonstrated an acquired wisdom with her song Home that recognises that, after a while, home becomes not so much a place but a person.

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The jocular 46 Brigade closed the night out. They only managed three songs because of overruns, but they managed to close with a rowdy and not entirely inappropriate You Really Pissed Me Off Last Night.