Live Review: Lisa Mitchell, Georgia Fair

19 June 2012 | 3:19 pm | Lynn McDonnell

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Early on a wet Friday night, fans started filling St. Joseph's church in Subiaco, the venue for the Perth leg of Lisa Mitchell's Spiritus Tour. This tour is a feature of Heavenly Sounds, a concept allowing musicians to play in the unique concert environments of churches and cathedrals.

Before long, the secular congregation had filled the venue with a positive hum and in the confines of the divine altar, Georgia Fair treated the warming sold out crowd to folk tunes and acoustic love songs. Jordan Wilson and Ben Riley became part of this concert experience and rather than purely filling the status of hors d'oeuvre, the New South Wales pair reappeared regularly throughout the night assisting Mitchell with her own show.

As Lisa Mitchell and her band appeared on stage it becomes apparent that they have engaged the celestial theme and ran with it, almost to the point of exaggeration. Ethereal white dresses, dazzling suits and gold costume halos added to the sweet and innocent angelic character.

The soft-spoken songstress appeared natural on stage and her ease of performance created a sense of comfort in the pews. She played an assortment of songs from her debut album Wonder and also from her upcoming album due for release in September, the teaser single from which, Spiritus, received much approbation. Diamond In The Rough struck a chord with this listener as a J. R. R. Tolkien reference “Not all those who wander are lost”, echoed beautifully around the pillars of St. Joseph's church. A uniform heartbeat was manifested throughout the crowd during these songs with plenty of finger-clicking and clapping.

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The show left many wanting more as the confinements of playing in a church saw Mitchell play for only 70 minutes (including a duet encore with half of Georgia Fair). Although the quirky soft voice of Mitchell fitted well in the acoustic setting of the church, it was hard to get past the almost pantomime effect of the celestial costumes. It was refreshing to attend a venue whereby its nature determined an absence of iPhones, cameras and incessant bar queues.