21 October 2015


There were a few thoughts going through my mind as I heard Belle Whyte and her band at Ainslie Arts Centre. About the anthem. Our current national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, is a bore and Deborah Cheetham turned down singing it at the AFL grand final because of the lyrics (specifically, "for we are young and free”: fair enough given Aboriginal Australia is deep time). But Belle suggested My island home as an alternative but it doesn't do it for me. Also, about the Music School and what musics it now develops. But I must say I liked this gig. Belle has a nice strong voice and a jovial presence. The band was serious and sounded good. They played some nice covers that I could reminisce over and some originals that were new to me, so obviously lacking that recognition. The themes were love and friendship so expected, from youth and pop. The chords were pretty simple but grooves were steady and subtle. That's just how this is and should be: engaging and foot tapping. Belle did a great take of Valerie by Amy Winehouse. It's a corker. Also some sweet songs that took me back: Perhaps perhaps perhaps which must always remind me of Coupling for all future time and that infectious Ronette's tune, Be my baby. I missed the harmonies and horns in that one but Belle did a great job of it. Is this the modern School of Music? I think it is. Not jazz, not classics, but entertaining and nicely done. I enjoyed it.

Belle Whyte (vocals) led a quintet with Robbie Mann (piano), Heti Blaazer-Gross (guitar), Brendan Keller-Tuberg (bass) and Hayden Fritzlaff (drums) at the Ainslie Arts Centre.

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