Live Review: Washington & Sydney Symphony Orchestra

22 September 2017 | 1:36 pm | Liz Giuffre

"Always tender, always masterful, and always bloody lovely."

More Washington More Washington

Taking on the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as your 'band' is always a bold move.

Megan Washington not only took them on, but used the opportunity to debut a brand new album, Sugardoom. Drawn together as a collection of love songs, you'd think this would just be an invitation for sweeping, syrupy strings and lots of big soaring cadences - and while yes, there was a bit of that - there was also lots of the poppy, clever and daring Washington that has made the nation so besotted with her.

The first few songs were delivered straight and without introduction - Washington simply took to the mic in a velvet caped dress and went for it. After patiently getting over any initial humps, and letting the audience settle into the scale and size, she chatted - explaining her plan for an evening of 'love songs', but certainly not the type The Bachelor would use as filler. In between her new tracks like American Spirit (a "love song to Donald Trump's America" as she called it), Achilles Heart, The Give and the catchy as hell Love You Best, she also made space for a little tribute to the past. Limitless soared from the Opera House's main room grand piano, as did incredible versions of Roy Orbison's Anything You Want (You Got It) and The Boys Next Door's Shivers. Rowland S Howard wrote the song in his teens, "So we can all give up now," she said as introduction, as well as a nod to the school kids who peppered the crowd tonight as part of the early show. Both these and her new work took the idea of 'love' beyond Hallmark and towards its more common extremes of obsession, devotion and, at times, good old-fashioned blind embarrassment.

Always tender, always masterful, and always bloody lovely. Well done, Meg, well done.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter