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Katie Noonan Joni Mitchell's Blue 50th Anniversary - QPAC

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Event:
Simply the best

Jo Davie looked apprehensive "I'm shaking," she said - but the audience had clearly come to reminisce and to enjoy and warmly applauded as her pure voice celebrated "Clouds".

Many in the audience were singing quietly along as her voice soared, finishing with the familiar words

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life
At all


Jo then chose to sing her own songs it was a good choice. Her lyrics were perceptive and sensitive, and her vocal technique is excellent. In particular, her last song with a jazz-blues flavour allowed her to showcase her four-octave range, and she saved her highest note for last, to rapturous applause. We will be hearing a great deal more of this wonderful lady.


After the interval, Katie Noonan arrived with her supporting musicians including her 17-year-old son playing the drums. There was a wait for a black-clad stage-hand to fix her microphone and Katie chatted and led the audience in raucous applause as he took a bow.

Then she began to sing

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Traveling, traveling, traveling
Looking for something, what can it be
Oh I hate you some, I hate you some
I love you some


It is a brave choice to reprise an icon your aged reviewer for one would not have chosen to hear just anyone cover Joni Mitchell songs. But I have heard Katie Noonan in so many genres ranging from operatic to jazz and she has been flawless in all of them.

This performance was no different.


For some tracks she played a mean piano, and interspersed wry comments "Joni was with all three Crosby, Stills and Nash and the band still stayed together".

She commented on the writing of "Blue" how Joni had been on a beach and to0ok her rubbish to a beach shack to ask if the owner would get rid of it, and one thing led to another. Some fifty years later someone has come forward to say that he is "Blue" -

Blue, here is a shell for you
Inside you'll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me


This song Katie dedicated to her partner

My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
No, my old man
Keeping away my lonesome blues

This was so beautifully sung that I could see audience members wiping away tears.



"This" said Katie "Is the best song in the known universe. No pressure"

Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won't give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had
Still a lot of lands to see
But I wouldn't want to stay here
It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here
Oh, but California
California I'm coming home
I'm going to see the folks I dig
I'll even kiss a Sunset pig
California I'm coming home


Chorus:

Oh it gets so lonely
When you're walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
More about the war
And the bloody changes
Oh will you take me as l am?
Will you take me as l am?
Will you?


After a standing ovation for what had been flagged as her last number, Katie said that she couldn't be bothered going off stage and then back for encores let's just do the encores. Cue for yet more applause.

And we finished with the whole Concert Hall singing along

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop, ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop)
They took all the trees put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar an'a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop, ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop)
Hey farmer, farmer put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees
Please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop, ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop)



Yes, we got what we came for familiar and much loved lyrics, beautifully sung.

Perhaps Katie has found a formula there are quite a few albums deserving of the Katie Noonan treatment.

This was, as I'm sure the whole audience would agree, a very special night.




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When: 8th May
Where: QPAC Concert Hall
Cost: $69-$89
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