With three albums behind her, Missy Higgins certainly has a vast repertoire to bring to her live performances. Opening her set with Secret from her second album before breaking into The River from her debut and then three from her latest releases, Higgins certainly offered something for everyone.
A long term fan of her records, I’d been waiting quite some time to see the songs brought to life on stage and they definitely did not disappoint. It surprised me that some of the night’s best performances were to be from her newest album and not my old favourites. The accompaniment of Higgins’ brother David on Cooling of the Embers made for a particularly haunting rendition of the song penned for their late grandmother.
Praise for her newest songs should not be seen as discredit for Higgins’ older work. Alone on the stage, her piano renditions of They Weren’t There and Any Day Now were quick to remind me of the talent that captured my attention all those years ago. It’s easy to forget that Higgins is still just 28, and that the wealth of songwriting experience and confident live performances make it feel as though she’s been a staple on the Australian music scene for a long time.
Playing Going North at the request of her mum who was in the crowd, it’s clear Higgins is back to doing what she loves. She may have taken a few years off, but smiling as she strums her guitar it’d be hard to imagine her not calling the stage ‘home’. New song Everyone’s Waiting was already emerging as my favourite track on The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, but tonight’s live performance assures me of its status. An emotional piano number, the songs lyrics are brought to life with Higgins’ powerful vocals that remain near-faultless throughout the twenty song set.
It’s been six years since Higgins last performed in the UK and I’m seeing more requests than ever for her to return to our shores to play once more. With the release of a new album and an American tour following this Australian tour, it seems a trip to perform in Europe is long overdue.
The show I saw tonight was beautiful. It deserves to be seen by European audiences. The only question is: When?