Thursday, 20 November 2008

Emiliana Torrini

The Forum, Melbourne

Sometimes known as the other Icelandic waif (but only by people who deserve to be slapped for saying it), Emiliana Torrini has returned to Melbourne with her new album Me and Armini.

Comparisons to Bjork are inevitable but unfair. The fact is they're worlds apart in musical style and while I love Bjork (although I preferred The Sugarcubes to her solo stuff) Emiliana is so much more . . . adorable.

It's almost three years since Emiliana was last here, and she carries the baggage of very high expectations. Her last Melbourne gig (at The Corner, as it happens) was truly amazing. I've never before seen a Corner crowd fall utterly silent during a song, and I don't suppose I ever will again.

This most recent show didn't quite have the magic of that one (something in the air that night? Or the water?) but where it fell short in magic it was more than made up for by comedy.

Emiliana is the master of the ribald joke, and it's all the funnier coming from someone who looks and sounds the the girl next door's next door neighbour. Last time it was the story of her guitarist falling into a whale's vagina, and this time a comprehensive description of accidentally doing a show in a partially see-through dress.

To my delight it also became clear that she's a sci fi geek, when she had the audience do the 5-note piece from Close Encounters just for her own amusement.

In between all of this was a very nice selection of songs from all her albums, beautifully rendered by one of the most amazing voices in music today.

So the laughs were plentiful, the band was tight, the music was lovely and Emiliana was and ever will be . . . just adorable.

4 out of 5
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