17iii. See Missy Higgins play live (again again)

18 06 2012

June 17 2012.I managed to get tickets to last night’s final Melbourne show and the final date on the tour!

After searching “missyhiggins tickets” on Twitter and refreshing Gumtree all afternoon, I saw a tweet from clearly the most lovely human in the world who could no longer make the show and was giving away her two tickets. For free. For this I cannot thank her enough!

With tickets on my phone, a last minute phonecall to get Jude to come with me and having put a Twitter request in for Sugarcane, I jumped on a tram to the city and went to three different Internet Cafes before finding one which actually let me download and print documents!

Just before Butterfly’s set started I saw Missy had tweeted me in response to my request which caused quite a bit of excitement! Butterfly’s set was great and I now feel I must immediately download the entirety of her new album as I’ve now seen her play four times since moving here so shall be opening up my iTunes in a second to complete my album collection.

Missy’s set started with Secret and The River but quickly things were shaken up with Tricks making an early appearance. Also of note was Set Me On Fire, which was, tonight, introduced with a whole verse of the rap that it was originally written as. Let’s just say Missy’s stage persona didn’t quite match the rap so well.

When the band left the stage for Missy’s solo set I got excited. Nightminds was up first, before Butterfly and Judith Hammond (who’d been a multi-instrumental genius at all shows on the tour) returned to join Missy to perform Sweet Arms of a Tune. I hadn’t previously seen this song performed live so was eager to see it and the three women’s instruments and voices blended together beautifully making me oh-so-happy to be at the show.

The band returned and, after a little bit of stage banter, I heard those familiar piano notes and then… “Baby ballerinas hiding somewhere in the corner…”

YES. I have now heard Sugarcane played live and it made the seven year wait, the trip interstate and the move across the world on the off-chance to see her play live totally worth it. (Ok, for clarification there were a lot of other reasons for the move with education clearly being the top one *Cough*)

I didn’t write a proper set list and this was not meant to be a review. I just had to write something down to show my excitement and gratitude at how yesterday worked out. Because of Twitter, I had a free lunch, got free tickets to Missy Higgins’ gig and then got my favourite song ever worked into the set list. And people say Twitter is just for oversharing what you ate for breakfast…

The amazing full band: Judith Hammond, Peter Groenwald, Will Sayles, Missy Higgins, Butterfly Boucher and Tyler Burkum.

See also: 17i. See Missy Higgins play live and 17ii. See Missy Higgins play live (again). If you’re really interested, hit the ‘Missy Higgins’ tag to see what other non-stalkerish things I’ve been up to.


17ii. See Missy Higgins play live (again)

17 06 2012
Missy Higgins live June 16 2012

Sorry for the poor photo, again.

Missy Higgins (Supported by Butterfly Boucher)
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Saturday 16 June 2012.

Read 17i. See Missy Higgins play live.

Wearing her ‘reserved for special occasions’ yellow pants (read the English translation: trousers) that she’d worn at last Friday’s Sydney show, Butterfly Boucher took to the grand stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre like a pro. Her set was similar to last Friday’s however there was the welcome addition of Not Fooling Around which kept me happy. And Missy’s appearance on None The Wiser wearing a large wintery coat surprised the unsuspecting audience (bar the diehards who’d already been to other shows!)

After Butterfly’s run to sign CDs and sprint back onto stage (after a Vodka and Tonic) Missy took to the stage in the more venue-appropriate outfit of a sequined dress. The set began as it had done last week, Secret was soft, The River was beautifully sad and by the time the hand-painted banners were lowered onto the stage in Hello Hello, I think it’s safe to say most of the audience were completely consumed by the music. Continuing with Set Me On Fire (“It’s a love song to music, I guess”) and the number heavy combo of 100 Round The Bends then Ten Days, I briefly wondered if I’d be hearing anything I hadn’t heard live in Sydney. Whilst I still wouldn’t have been gutted if it had been identical, the arrival of special guest Dave Higgins (Yes, he’s Missy’s brother) on Cooling of the Embers served to make the tribute to their late Grandmother Judy all the more poignant and the evening began to take a different turn. With Dave on piano, Missy was left instrument-less which seemed unusual but she coped just fine.

When Dave was asked to stay on to provide animal noises in Watering Hole he looked a little bit awkward wandering around the stage trying to fit in, but the craziness added to the madness that was unfolding throughout the theatre. In fact, so successful were the animal noises from the audience tonight that they continued throughout the set with Missy clarifying one audience contribution later in the evening was most definitely a “Moo” and not a “Boo”. Yes, it seems there were some quality cow impersonators on Exhibition Street tonight.

For her solo piano set Missy returned to her debut to play They Weren’t There and Any Day Now. Whilst the latter was faultless the former saw Missy stumble mid-song, followed by an expletive burst and then, of course, an apology at the end of the song. In fact, this was one of two slip ups in the evening which highlighted Missy’s great character – earlier on she’d started singing the wrong second line in Peachy before quickly correcting herself and apologising.

Going North was included as a request from her mum who was in the audience before Everyone’s Waiting was introduced as a song about the anxiety of writing new music which Missy admits was mostly brought on by herself.

Concluding the set with each of the biggest singles from her albums, Missy certainly deserved the standing ovation from the huge venue.

Comparisons with the Sydney show? Sydney was a better venue, Melbourne was a better show.

My one gripe: Still no Sugarcane. I guess this just means this definitely can’t be the last time I see Missy play live. One day I’ll see it live. One day.

If anyone knows of a spare ticket to tomorrow night’s (Sunday) Melbourne show, please let me know ASAP.


  • Secret
  • The River
  • If I’m Honest
  • Hello Hello
  • Set Me On Fire
  • 100 Round The Bends
  • Ten Days
  • Peachy
  • Where I Stood
  • Cooling of the Embers
  • Watering Hole
  • They Weren’t There (Solo)
  • Any Day Now (Solo)
  • Going North
  • Everyone’s Waiting
  • The Special Two
  • Warm Whispers
  • Unashamed Desire
  • Scar
  • Steer

17. See Missy Higgins play live

9 06 2012

Poor quality photo to contrast the high quality music.


Next month it will have been seven years since I first heard The Sound of White in a car we’d borrowed in Sydney. For seven years I’ve patiently waited for her to tour the UK (OK, she did in 2006. But I was in Sicily fearing I was going to be burnt alive by bushfires). Eventually I gave up and moved to Australia. Not really for this sole reason (it definitely wasn’t mentioned on my Statement of Intent), but it was hardly a downside. So whilst I may have looked up flights to the US for her tours before, tonight’s gig only required an hour long flight to Sydney and oh, how everything was worth it.

Missy’s 20-song long set was stunning.

From the opening notes of Secret to the rapturous applause at the end of Steer, I could’ve been anywhere in the world. Whilst The York Theatre in The Seymour Centre was a perfect venue with its 700-odd capacity and semi-circle of seating, the venue didn’t matter to me. For me, it was all about that voice.

There might have been an absence of my all-time-favourite-song Sugarcane, but every song seemed to have the crowd whooping (sometimes too enthusiastically in the more poignant moments of songs) and each performance added something different to the studio versions I’ve heard oh so many times before.

Ably supported by her five-piece band (including support act and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Co-Producer Butterfly Boucher), Higgins ploughed through the numbers whilst managing to make it look like she was loving every second of it. Either she truly has rediscovered her true love for music, or she’s simply an immense performer.

Whether it was the cacophony of animal sounds (aided by guest vocalist Jane Tyrrell from The Herd) that added atmosphere to Watering Hole or the revival of an old eighties keytar on Unashamed Desire, every song was arranged to highlight the best it had to offer. Her solo interlude of a heartbreaking Forgive Me and the ever-dramatic Nightminds were particularly memorable but when the band returned for my new favourite Everyone’s Waiting it just added another dynamic.

I’m trying not to make this an essay so I’ll just quickly sum up a few other highlights: Cooling of the Embers was emotional, the inclusion of The River was a very pleasant surprise, Missy had first played Ten Days in the same venue to a crowd that inadvertently included the song’s subject, This Is How It Goes and Scar had everyone dancing and singing along and those long notes on Warm Whispers are even more incredible than on the XM Session recording I own.

It’s safe to say I’m no longer in the running for Missy Higgins’ biggest fan never to have seen her live. Now, if she could just play Sugarcane on Saturday in Melbourne, I think I’d consider this entire list complete.

At least I only have seven days to wait until I see her perform live again.

(A less gushy review will be appearing on Timber and Steel in the coming days.)


  • Secret
  • River
  • Set Me On Fire
  • Hello Hello
  • 100 Round the Bends
  • Ten Days
  • Where I Stood
  • Cooling of the Embers
  • Don’t Ever
  • Watering Hole
  • Forgive Me
  • Nightminds
  • Everyone’s Waiting
  • This is How it Goes
  • Unashamed Desire
  • Peachy
  • The Special Two
  • Warm Whispers
  • Scar
  • Steer

73. Meet Missy Higgins

11 04 2012

I had to create a new number for this, because it’s still not quite number 17. Yet.

So how did this finally (Yes, finally – I’ve been waiting nearly seven years) happen?

Well, I landed in Sydney this morning after the most oxymoronic International Domestic flight from Melbourne. I’d planned an evening alone at my aunt’s, finishing my essay and baking banana cake, but then I stumbled across Annabel Crabb’s Twitter feed (someone had retweeted her P Diddy/Supafest mocking tweet) and saw that she was interviewing Missy Higgins and Kate Tucker at the Art Gallery of NSW this evening. I found this out three hours before the talk began. So I quickly made a banana cake, got on a bus, walked the wrong way out of Wynyard and somehow made it to the gallery with an hour to spare. So I found myself a good second row seat and made friends with two lovely more mature ladies next to me who talked with me about Annabel Crabb’s quirky dress sense and about other highly cultured events they regularly attend.

The talk was genuinely really interesting with Kate Tucker explaining how she went about creating her Archibald Prize nominated portrait of Missy. It was pretty insightful into both of their lives (Kate had previously painted Missy’s back fence with a Mexican theme) and inspired me to buy a ticket and go and look at the exhibition after the talk.

But not before this happened.

Yes, more than six and a half years since I first heard The Sound of White, I finally got to meet Missy Higgins and briefly tell her how much her music meant to me (Yes, in the short conversation we had I did manage to mention that I moved across the world to study Indigenous Linguistics.) There’s quite a lot more I would’ve like to have said – including asking if she’s ever going to tour the UK for Sophie’s sake – but it’s fair to say I was putting all my focus into trying not to come across as a stalker. And I think I was successful at that.

This blog, on the other hand…

Well that’s a whole other (non-stalkerish) ball game.

Oh, and in case you’re in Sydney and interested, the exhibition was really good. Kate’s portrait is beautiful and there are lots of really incredible portraits as well as great landscapes from the Wynne Prize. It’s open until 3 June. Tickets are $8 for concessions, $10 general admission. Wednesday Night art.afterhours run free talks and events every week.

72. See Butterfly Boucher play live/fail to stalk Missy Higgins

22 03 2012

I’ll admit it, I’m a cyberstalker. Not in a creepy way – in fact I’ve very much eased off on the Facebook/Twitter searches I’ve been known to partake in since arriving in Australia – but let’s just say I have a mild Twitter addiction and am pretty much in love with every song Missy Higgins has ever performed/live by her tweets (Y’know how I now live in Melbourne studying Aboriginal Linguistics with plans to travel to Broome – I guess there was some influence.)

When you factor in all these aspects of my life it comes as no surprise that I pay quite a lot of attention to Missy Higgins’ Twitter profile and when she tweeted the link to Butterfly Boucher’s new single 5678 I decided I rather liked it. I subscribed to Butterfly’s mailing list, got a few free downloads and promptly booked myself and Lucy tickets to her gig at the Northcote Social Club. I booked the tickets on the premise of learning more about Boucher’s music, but I guess there was always a niggling hope that Higgins may appear on stage – even if just with a tambourine – to support her friend. Alas this was not the case…

After exploring the ‘trendy’ High Street (I despise the word trendy, Lucy lives by it) we found ourselves enjoying deliciously crisp pizza at Pizza Meine Liebe and learning what Silverbeet was (apparently this is common knowledge in Australia and we had to justify the question with “We are English”).

Anyway, we headed to the venue around  8:15 expecting the gig to be in full swing after doors opening at 7:30. What we actually found was a completely empty venue that we felt immediately awkward in so ran upstairs to the toilets to play it cool.

As we entered a woman in the toilets immediately clarified the poignant bathroom aroma was not produced by her and only after she left the room did Lucy and I look at one another and reassure eachother that the lady we’d just had awkward toilet conversation with was, in fact, Butterfly Boucher.

It turns out one of the two support acts had to bail due food poisoning so everything had been moved back a bit but the remaining support act Yeo gave a very enjoyable performance that left both Lucy and I a bit in love with him. Lucy bagsied him first though. She may or may not now indulge in a bit of the aforementioned cyberstalking.

His set ended. We clapped. Then Lucy returned to the bathroom. Only to have another toilet encounter with Butterfly – this time discussing the intricacies of the Social Club’s inconsistent hand dryer. The toilets in Northcote Social Club are clearly the place to be seen.

Anyway, Butterfly’s set was mighty fine. She played songs from her first album (evidently loved by the crowd’s long term fans), her second album (which she asserted had never really had an Australian release so probably wasn’t particularly well known) and her third album (which is to be released on Friday April 13th). All songs performed were pretty darn super and her stage banter really enamoured everyone in the small venue.

Highlights for me had to be Another White Dash from her debut and the set’s culmination (Boucher hails from the same ‘No Encore’ crew as Missy Higgins) with the dance infused 5678.

All in all it was a great gig that I’d definitely recommend to folks in Canberra and Sydney where Boucher is heading later this week.

So even though I’d seen a photo of Butterfly and Missy together earlier in the day and watched many-a-Youtube clip of them together in stage, tonight was not to be the night that I finally saw Missy Higgins in the flesh. It’s been seven years waiting, so I guess a bit longer won’t do me any harm. Although she’d really better tour before August or else I may never return to Manchester.

But still, the night was really all about Butterfly Boucher. And to use her own (slightly incomprehensible) words, my mind was blowned.