Posts Tagged ‘ mckisko ’

Mélanie Pain @ The Zoo

October 24th, 2011

Date: March 17, 2009
Venue: The Zoo, Brisbane
Acts: Mélanie Pain, McKisko

Local singer-songwriter McKisko gently draws the ear with an introspective set full of delicate finger-plucked guitar and a pure, haunting voice. I mark her as one to watch — a decision that will repay itself in spades a couple of months down the track when she debuts her album Glorio at The Troubadour to rave reviews.

The star tonight, though, is French chanteuse Mélanie Pain. Best known for her exciting vocal work with musical collective Nouvelle Vague, she’s here to preview her solo release My Name. So, although we are treated to a couple of Nouvelle Vague covers, the 20-plus song set is dominated by material that’s probably unfamiliar to the audience.

Thus it’s testimony to Pain’s magnetic charm, the beauty of her breathy little-girl vocals and the strength of her song-writing that she’s able to captivate the small but enthusiastic crowd so comprehensively. She’s at turns cheeky, impish, poignant, seductive and sultry. And utterly convincing as she transitions from one mood to the next. Her English is gorgeous. Her French is divine. I’m so hooked I want the album at the end — and devastated to find that it’s not available yet. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

McKisko @ Brisbane Powerhouse

September 5th, 2010

Date: April 4, 2010
Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse
Acts: McKisko, Nikko

Nikko’s defining trait is their brooding intensity. On stage, the Brisbane six-piece projects a shoegaze focus that just… smoulders. Deliberate act or unconscious choice, it’s an attitude that complements their pent-up and langurous not-quite-The Drones, not-quite-the-Dirty Three sound. By the end, I’m hooked on the subtle intertwinings of echoing, shimmering guitarwork, whining violin, Ryan Potter’s maudlin monotone and Blair Westbrook’s scattershot drums. I grab one of the sampler CDs available before they all disappear. A couple months later, when they finally release their debut The Warm Side, I grab that too.

Today McKisko (aka Helen Franzmann) has brought a few friends to help her through a short, but captivating, Live Spark performance. Most notable is the inclusion of a trumpet player. The trumpet’s muted sound, coupled with plucked cello and arrhythmic snares, gives Undertow an unusual, almost jazzy perspective. A Difficult Crossing is filled with tiny blaring runs that embroider its delicate mania. But, trumpet or no, it’s Marcel that shines this afternoon: it simply aches as McKisko repeatedly drops from piercing highs to a desolate spoken-word hush at the tail-end of the chorus.

McKisko @ Brisbane Powerhouse

November 28th, 2009

2 High Festival
Date: November 14, 2009
Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse
Acts: McKisko

The anticipatory hush of several score people who fill the Visy Theatre is so thick as to be almost palpable. Unflustered, McKisko proceeds to fill this intimidating silence with gorgeous readings of her fractured folk-minimalism that are mostly taken from debut long-player Glorio.

The exquisite starkness of her tunes is rendered whole orders of magnitude more raw as the theatre’s acoustics carry the tiniest guitar ring, the hollow, boxy thud of her bandmate’s kick drum and, of course, every shivering inflection in her crystalline voice. We are so utterly spellbound by this lo-fi tour-de-force that it’s a shock when the lights come up at the conclusion of un-recorded gem Down The Track. Thirty minutes has passed already?

Timothy Carroll @ The Troubadour

Date: July 19, 2009
Venue: The Troubadour, Brisbane
Artists: Timothy Carroll, McKisko, Kate Jacobsen

About three songs into a typically inveigling set of back-porch country tunes, a perfect cocktail of illness, alcohol and painkillers prompts Kate Jacobsen to artlessly observe that her strum patterns all seem to be the same.

There’s an underlying hint of truth, yet it matters not a whit as an appreciative audience laps up Cane Farmer’s Song, Kiss Me Gently, Don’t Believe In Jesus and couple of new tunes as well. Some things are greater than the sum of their individual parts — and Jacobsen’s plain-speaking fretwork, achingly sweet voice and poignant lyrics illustrate that in spades.

Folk-minimalist McKisko (aka Helen Franzmann) performs only eight songs. But what breathtaking advertisements for her talent.

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