Newtown’s Sandringham Hotel was home to a sold out chick-fest on the coldest night of the year so far. Upstairs in the band room, however, it was nice and toasty.
Caitlin Park warmed up the room with her soulful voice, temperate guitar and earthly arrangements. Her presence on stage was unassuming; wearing a brown outfit and glasses, she looked like she just stepped out of the library and onto the stage. Not being able to hear the lyrics very well, Park apologised for her voice as it turned out she was nursing a bad head-cold. The addition of percussion to the performance was a welcome change in tempo to a set that was starting to stagnate- always a danger when doing the solo acoustic thing. She ended with Warriors with Wild Hearts, which sounded more polished.
Amaya Laucirica in contrast had the backing of a full band including violinist, and said instrument made for an atmospheric set. Laucirica is petite, her breathy voice blending in with the dreamy instrumentation, but the overall effect however was kind of bland. By the third song in she picked up a guitar and at least she was moving around a bit more. Like the performer, the songs are pretty, but unfortunately not that engaging.
Adalita casually walked onstage oozing effortless rock-chick glamour and the sold-out crowd broke into spontaneous applause before she had even strummed a chord. Adalita has always been able to express a certain vulnerable strength as her voice depicts both distance and the discomfort of closeness. Relying on the power of her vocal chords and the themes she sings about- loss, desire and passion restrained- Adalita turned out a set that was stripped back and intense. New song I Want Your Love is classic Adalita, being direct, honest and a little bit confronting. She ended with the single The Repairer, which really is in a league of its own and it’s stripped back production stands up rather well live. It was a cut above the rest of the set which was solid, but the other songs lacked the majesty of this one.