Live Review: Natalie Prass

3 March 2016 | 4:18 pm | Adrienne Downes

"Ditties of heartbreak and lost love seemed to be the theme of the evening."

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Betwixt the starry night sky, the scrapers of Perth's CBD, the fresh arch of the Elizabeth Quay and the barrenness of Fringe World Fairground stood the Chevron Festival Gardens. A pop-up location, the venue had a mosh-pit area decked with tables and chairs and a grand-stand (nowhere close to full on this occasion).

With no support acts to set the mood, Virginia's Natalie Prass and her classic brown bangs glided onto the stage wearing a black above-the-knee dress, tights and red boots. She picked up her brown starburst Gretsch guitar and stood mellowed over her microphone. Looking at the bare-bones band, you expected a chill-axed event.

Opener Your Fool was a soulful, emotional groove. Ditties of heartbreak and lost love seemed to be the theme of the evening. Lead guitarist Alan Parker had the power to manipulate the ambiance of the space with the simple strum of a chord or pluck of a string. He wielded his blue Stratocaster with absolute perfection, lifting crisp guitar melodies and long hailing notes from an exhausted whammy bar or strong power chords.

It Is You was a magical delight supported by the whimsical soprano resonance of Prass' vocals. She issued jazz/classical tones and it was mesmerising the way she seduced the crowd, leaving them snared by her siren song. It was beauty and seduction not even slightly in a physical sense, Prass was theatrical without the show.

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Light, comical conversations and stories between Prass, crowd members and Parker gave the evening a great depth of humility.

It is an acquired taste this style of music, some might say boring. Others will acknowledge songs like Last Time or My Baby Don't Understand Me as sweet stories wrapped in chic melodies. Something to be heard and adored.