24 April 2022


There are various thoughts I have with our Smiths visit by Matilda and Carl.  It's a return from Berlin, so international, probably somewhat delayed by Covid.  And a tour from throughout Australia, with input from Sydney and Perth.  It's a blast from the past, as I remember Carl and Matilda as students here at the ANU.  It puts a local and informal tinge on a devastating concert.  The immense skills but also the careful expression of them, so nothing seemed showy even as it was virtuosic.  I got taken aback or just amused by some overwhelming fills or licks from Carl or Hugh or that kick-heavy thump with complexity but inevitability from Ben.  And the wonderful richness of jazz applied to emotionally-rich lyrics from Matilda's first set, and even the raunchy and one somewhat comical expletive-laden rant (humour with a cutting edge, think Carl even if Matilda sang).  That last is one for an E-symbol in Spotify.  Hard to miss!  But I dearly love this interplay of pop and jazz with the breathtaking jazz-informed solos and the words to spread further, to speak to a newer listening cohort.  I remain in awe the next morning.  Just breathtaking.

Matilda Abraham (vocals, midi) led one set with Carl Morgan (guitar, bass, vocals), Hugh Barrett (keys, synth bass) and Ben Vanderwal  (drums, midi, vocals) at Smiths.  Carl led the second set with the same players as Dodo.

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