Live Review: Butterfly Boucher Hot Spoke! Morgan Joanel the vanguard

9 April 2012 | 12:52 pm | Staff Writer

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Easing the post-dinner crowd into the night at The Vanguard was hippy chick Morgan Joanel with a mixture of original acoustic pop numbers and a strangely chosen Rihanna track thrown in for good measure. Accompanied only by an acoustic guitar and loop pedal, Joanel achieved an impressive depth of sound and some clever harmonies for a one-woman-show.

Not on the advertised line-up but a great addition was folk/country quartet Hot Spoke!, lifting the tempo up a notch with tracks from their forthcoming EP. Singer Vanessa Jade's soothing yet powerful voice has an uncanny resemblance to American darling Jewel, however her stage presence could have done with an injection of energy, leaving enthusiastic bass player Huntly Gordon to steal the show.

Choosing to perform solo with the addition of just a few samples on some tracks, Butterfly Boucher owned the stage, grabbing the audience's attention throughout with her funny banter and striking vocals. Openers Life Is Short and For The Love Of Love from her first two albums were an instant hit, followed by new track The Weather that showed a definite change in artistic direction towards a more individual sound, thanks to her newfound independence from her previous record labels.

A succession of flawlessly played tracks from all three albums followed, memorably an acoustic version of Another White Dash, the heartfelt Warning Bell and finishing with the first single from her self-titled new album, the energetic 5678! No encore followed to the disappointment of fans, but Boucher did take the time to stick around and chat to her dedicated followers. It was a nice feelgood gig for a long-awaited homecoming for the now Nashville based, Adelaide born artist.

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