Kimbra - Factory Theatre & Corner Hotel

Jordan Munns / Live Music / Sarah Rix

Kimbra – Factory Theatre & Corner Hotel

Support by Exhibitionist

Photos by Jordan Munns at Factory Theatre

Review by Sarah Rix at Corner Hotel


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Kimbra at Corner Hotel

At this point, it seems safe to refer to Kimbra as an auteur. While she may be just 28 years of age, it feels like a title she’s earned thanks to her distinctive voice and approach to song writing. It may be catchy pop – but nothing about it is obvious or easy. This was evidenced when the New Zealand native stopped by Melbourne’s Corner Hotel for an intimate, sold out affair with her third album – April’s Primal Heart.

On stage, she acts as a (literal) conductor for an orchestra of effects and synths. Joined by a two-piece backing band, Kimbra proves she’s worthy of a commanding spotlight.

Emphatic hand gestures, much like her lyrics, are matched hand-for-hand and word-for-word by the expectant crowd. She has dedicated fans and they adore her in equal parts for both the music and eccentricities.

 “Settle Down”, from 2011’s Vows was an early highlight – Kimbra dropping in her verse from Gotye’s smash “Somebody That I Used to Know” partway through.

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“We played this venue back in 2011,” Kimbra said to the audience part-way through the show. “It’s like full circle vibes.” She’d throwback again, later in the set introducing the appropriately titled “Past Love” by telling everyone: “I used to do gigs back in Northcote. It’s nice to kind of bring it back and do it where I started.”

The crowd was eager to get involved, singing along to Vows single “Two Way Street” while Primal Heart’s “Lightyears” began as a space-y dance number that morphed into full-on pop beats. The talk-singing of “Top of the World” put emphasis on her ever-shifting, yet still identifiable sound – the darker overtones captivating the crowd for a final hurrah.

Kimbra makes pop music for the outskirts – the type you’d expect the band geeks and drama students to get around. It’s an impressive body of work that she performs with emotion and heart. It will also be interesting to see what else she has up her fashionable sleeves in the years to come, too.

Recently announced as support on David Byrne’s Australia/New Zealand tour (coming to our fair shores this November) is a smart fit given the Talking Heads leader’s cult status. Kimbra could join him in those ranks – she’s well on her way to auteur status. In fact, she’s probably already there.

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