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Live Review: Steve Clisby

19 December 2013 | 11:15 am | Lorin Reid

Steve Clisby’s lounge music chic was perfect for the dining experience of the Brass Monkey but as a headlining act, he needed something more to get people out of their seats and grooving.

Semi-finalist on Channel Nine's reality talent show, The Voice, Steve Clisby won hearts around Australia with his gentle charm and smooth vocals, singing a host of soul classics like New York State Of Mind and Just The Two Of Us.

Six months later, he's still singing those cover songs and his soulful voice and piano have crossed paths with a quartet of drums, bass, more keys and electric guitar. Together they played a satisfying but not exceptional set, peppered with a couple of decent originals, written by Clisby in the same old-school soul style of his idols.

He started off strong and with a bit of echo on his mic, his voice sounding as perfect as a recording. One powerfully sustained note in his first song, Marc Cohn's Walking In Memphis, garnered a huge cheer from the audience. But cheers were then few and far between as Clisby's energy plateaued and interest waned. Highlights included the copycat competition between Clisby's scatting vocals and riffs on electric guitar, reflecting a certain playfulness to the whole performance. They played a slow, jazzy rendition of Van Morrison's Moondance that was on point, as was U2's One Love.  Anecdotal interactions between songs seemed genuine, though only the first couple of rows could hear Clisby's soft speaking voice and many stories went unheard – we did catch, however, that Clisby's getting his Australian citizenship in a couple of days, to the delight of the crowd.

Clisby unleashed his own song, Plans We Made, at the conclusion of the night and you could feel his pride and connection with the track. Bring on more originals!

Steve Clisby's lounge music chic was perfect for the dining experience of the Brass Monkey but as a headlining act, he needed something more to get people out of their seats and grooving.

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