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Frankie Andrew

with Richard Jeffery, Melody Moon and Tané Emia-Moore


It was a civilised bunch who turned out for the launch of Frankie Andrew's 'Blackberry' EP. After taking out the 2011 Melbourne Music Slam prize, the Tasmanian-born songstress has channelled her energy – and her $3000 prize – into her second studio release, celebrated this night in appropriately relaxed and unassuming style.

  

The half-lit Wesley Anne quickly took on a comfortable, dinner-with-friends kind of vibe, which suited the acts on offer very nicely. Richard Jeffery provided a soft and very pleasant introduction to the evening, warming the very attentive crowd with soaring, bittersweet vocal melodies and technically impressive guitar work. His songwriting called Elliot Smith to mind almost instantly, and a charming stage presence saw his set go down very nicely. Up next, Melody Moon impressed with a simple, stripped back and gorgeous performance. Her Sarah Blasko-esque style seemed more grounded and honest than most of her peers can manage, and her backing band earned their places on the stage with gorgeous vocal harmonies. It all was over all too soon, but the choice between quality and quantity was made wisely.

  

Tan é Emia-Moore has been winning a few accolades of his own lately. Another former Tasmanian, the now-local musician has been getting a lot of attention for his live shows. His set brought with it a noticeable step up in energy, with more of an indie-rock flavour on offer and a captivating, street-style approach to performing. His impressive songwriting was definitely done justice in the live environment, with a very polished but natural feel to the set. The combination of a dynamic live show and a solid amount of raw, honest talent made for a very impressive and promising set.

  

Frankie Andrew's appearance on stage created an instant hush. Her unassuming stage presence proved quite magnetic, and her velvet voice needed little help in drawing attention to itself. Right away, the gentle power of her opening song brought to mind the earthy folk of Laura Marling. While this could still be heard in the remainder of the set, things quickly settled into the feel of an organic Joni Mitchell ballad. Andrew's careful and clever fingerpicked guitar melodies were matched perfectly with a swooning and intimate vocal delivery, completed by subtly haunting lyrics. Over the course of the set, an assortment of friends hopping on and off the stage added to the laid-back feel of the evening. Andrew's duet with Molly Moon was a charming stand-out, with both absolutely nailing their vocal deliveries to create a flawless end product. While Andrew's solo performances did stand out, she almost seemed more comfortable on stage with another performer to play off. A very successful inclusion of backup vocals from her "friend Kate" offered up further proof of this, providing another highlight of the set.

  

Toward the end of the night, old favourite ‘Rest' showed what Andrews was really capable of in stripped-back mode. It was a gorgeous performance, with even the mix – which had been near-flawless all night – sounding especially perfect. The set was capped off with a crowd-led clap along, and for a moment there things got cheekily rowdy. But the evening was always going to end on a quiet note.

  

Faced with a curfew, Andrews treated her audience to an unplugged encore from right amongst them. Freed from her microphone, she unleashed her most unrestrained, natural and captivating performance of the night. It was a true display of what she's really capable of, and a clear indicator of bigger things to come.

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