Live Review: Missy Higgins, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa

18 February 2016 | 1:49 pm | Michael Prebeg

"Higgins contemplates a medley of '90s television theme songs after playing some Doogie Howser..."

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Starting off with something a little bit different, local spoken-word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa performs a powerful piece for us. The first generation Australian Sikh, or as she refers to herself "fully Sikh", speaks to the popular phrase "Where the bloody hell are you?" with Advance Australia Fair — preaching the acceptance of all who seek equality in Australia. As we hear a line that really resonates with us we participate by clicking our fingers and praise her honest and relevant words.

It's a dream come true for Missy Higgins to play at Hamer Hall tonight. This very special one-off intimate show marks her return to the Melbourne stage after the birth of her baby boy Samuel. She tells us it's a delightful juxtaposition as she recounts a day spent cutting up paw paw fruit into fun shapes for her son by day and rocking out on stage by night. She couldn't be happier.

The spotlight shines down as Higgins begins on piano for a new song called Somewhere, which was written for a Melbourne Theatre Company production. Her band then join in for a cover of Aussie group The Angels' No Secrets, as the stage lights up like a shiny disco ball. Higgins says she feels like she has to be really well behaved playing at such a fancy venue but assures us we can all let loose with whatever wild noises come to us — particularly for the animal-themed Watering Hole. Despite the size of the hall, Higgins tells that she still feels as comfortable as if she were playing in her living room, and wishes that it was as she admires her grand surrounds.

Keeping the mood light and casual, Higgins contemplates a medley of '90s television theme songs after playing some Doogie Howser, MD-sounding musical notes and pushes through fits of laughter to compose herself for the soothing Warm Whispers. Higgins tells us that since becoming a mum, she feels as if she's walking around with her heart outside of her body. This new feeling transpires into a gentle lullaby on ukulele, dedicated to her 13-month-old son. She's clearly still on a high after her Play School appearance earlier in the week and continues to break out into nursery rhymes with Three Little Fishies and we all sing along like little kids.

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Special guest Ben Abraham joins in for a heart-warming, recently recorded duet and then Higgins shares a brand new song called Oh Canada, which will be released as a single this Friday. The incredibly moving song is some of Higgins' best lyrical work to date and was inspired by a shocking image that surfaced from the devastating effects of the Syrian war. Higgins finishes on a tune that motivates us to take the reins, grab life by both hands and Steer.