Supporting the amazing Kate Miller-Heidke were The Beards. They have luscious beards, and sing songs about beards. They don’t like people without beards. The only reason they are on tour with Kate Miller-Heidke is because they are “supporting” the fact that she doesn’t have a beard. It’s a little hard to take these guys seriously, but that’s the whole point, right? I couldn’t keep a smile off my face throughout their entire set, and at times it was laugh out loud funny.
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last little while, The Beards have songs with lyrics including “as long as your dad doesn’t have a beard, you have two mums”, “there was once a band called Kings of Leon and they shaved off their beards and now they’re shit”, plus their Hottest 100 hit, titled “You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man”. The thing about this band is that behind those ridiculous lyrics are a stupidly talented bunch of musicians. The frontman is not only a seriously talented singer, but also saxophonist, keytar, and melodica player. They’re just a hell decent band.
Looking back in time, the first Kate Miller-Heidke gig I went to would have been in 2005. And, oh my, what a journey she has embarked on over the years. When Kate and band came onto the stage, there was a huge eruption of sound, however, as soon as guitarist, Keir Nuttall, started playing “Iron and Fire” there was dead silence, and when Kate sang her first phrase, there was another eruption of sound. But for the rest of the song, the silence returned and there was not a sound in the room. To say it was intense is the understatement of the year. Her one hour and forty-five minute set was filled with songs from her latest record Nightflight, as well as tunes from both Curiouser and Litter Eve. I was so glad to hear her playing track from these early albums, including a massively slowed down rendition of “Mama”.
Kate has a wonderful way of reinterpreting her music for the stage, and it was so great to hear “God’s Gift to Women” open with just the acoustic guitar, before moving into something much heavier and drum based. This came straight after a selection of songs including “Politics in Space” and “The Devil Wears a Suit”, played without Dan Parsons on the drums, but instead on guitar. Kate’s cover tonight was a mash up of Eminem's “The Real Slim Shady” and Kanye West's “Monster”. To see a petite white woman rap is certainly something you need to experience at least once in your life.
As a conclusion to her encore, she played an acoustic rendition of “Space They Cannot Touch”. This is my all time favourite Kate Miller-Heidke song, and it was such a special moment to hear it played with only Keir on acoustic guitar, and Maddie Page, Dan Parsons and James O’Brien grouped around a single microphone singing harmonies. Such a perfect way to end the brilliant set.