Well, if this was to be the last live gig we would see for a while as we head into this indefinite period of social uncertainty, then it certainly was a good one!
It was very apt that Kate Ceberano and her band were scheduled to play on the last day of the Fringe as she has always been a hard act to follow.
On a sombre note, Ceberano spoke from her heart at the start of her show, recognising the uncertainty of the current coronavirus situation and expressing her concern about its impending impact on the lives of her and the band, as well us all, but pointing out that music and art will, as always, provide a bulwark against despair in the weeks and months ahead.
Dressed in her classy black sparkling Carla Zampatti dress (which she invited one eager gentleman in the audience to come up and touch!) she delivered a diverse set of songs encompassing some of her own self-penned hits, but also a selection of songs that I had not heard her sing live before.
Refusing to stay bound by genre, she mixed ballads such as First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and I Don’t Know How To Love Him, in with effervescent pop in covering the Split Enz song Six Months In A Leaky Boat.
She also displayed her ability to wield a harder edge, bringing the house down with a medley of classic Divinyls songs, which included I Touch Myself, Science Fiction and Boys In Town.
Throw in the reggae inflected Bedroom Eyes – which, in turn, inspired a cover of The Police classic, I Can’t Stand Losing You – and you’ll start to get the idea. It was like being taken on a journey through the history of the best popular music of the seventies and eighties.
Always an engaging performer, between songs Ceberano regaled her audience with tales of her youth and of her experiences working with other Australian music icons, drawing us all in to her intimate revelations with her humour and charm.
By the end of the show, any trepidation the audience may have been feeling at gathering en masse had been dissolved, and Ceberano announced that she would be performing regularly with her band online for the duration of the live performance restriction period.
After an adoring ovation from the afternoon show crowd, Kate returned for a one song encore, choosing to deliver an affirming rendition of her own song, Beautiful Life, which she sang with all the power and passion that are her trademarks.
Ceberano and her wonderful band of musicians – Kate Halloran on guitar, Rodrigo Bustos on bass, Paul Cecchinelli on keyboards and Dave Matthews on drums – delivered a fantastic show which will provide plenty of positive memories to tide us all over whilst we wait to re-enter the world of live music once again.
By: Ken Grady
Rating: 5 stars
Ceberano & Co. was presented at the Fortuna Spiegeltent at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights with two performances on Sunday 15 March 2020.