Every now and then a show comes along that is just gobsmackingly good. Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky ‘Tryst’ was stunning.
‘Tryst’ live was a “you could hear a pin drop” concert. That rarely happens. As an example, I often cite k.d. lang at the Continental in Prahran as my fallback for explaining a “pin drop” show. This one was that good.
It didn’t go unnoticed to me that Kate Ceberano mentioned The Continental on a number of occasions during this show. The inner suburban Melbourne venue is long gone and sorely missed but in its day hosted some remarkable artists including lang and Sheryl Crow.
I think what hooked me in with Kate and Paul’s ‘Tryst’ show was just how well curated the setlist was. The show started with an extremely high standard with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ and stayed at that level to the end.
By track three, when Kate did the Nina Simone version of the Johnny Mathis song also covered by David Bowie ‘Wild Is The Wind’ it was breathtaking. That is not an easy song. Its vocal gymnastics. Considering the pedigree of who had done it before, it was brave to even attempt it … and she won.
There was so much beauty in the setlist. Ewan MacColl’s (Kirsty’s dad) ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ was music magnificence. (Which reminds me I must pull out my Play Misty For Me DVD and give that another run).
I can only imagine the conversations that went into this setlist. Kate Ceberano was two years old when “Windmills of Your Mind’ and ‘This Guys In Love With You’ were released. Her mother was a kid when ‘La Vie En Rose’ came out. Paul Williams’ ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ arrived before Kate started school. Same with ‘Both Sides Now’. These are all ‘old soul’ songs, as opposed to old ‘soul songs’. The song selection was very well thought threw.
The two Dylan tracks ‘Make You Feel My Love’ and ‘Forever Young’ and Leon Russell’s ‘A Song For You’ contrasted with Divinyls ‘I Touch Myself’. ‘I Touch Myself’ as a torch song? It works.
All of this was performed with just Melbourne maestro Paul Grabowsky. There was no band. This was just a voice and a piano.
I am pretty sure that this year we are seeing Kate Ceberano in a career year high. We’ve already had the I’m Talking reunion, we are about to be treated to the Steve Kilbey, Sean Sennett, Kate collaboration and now this.
Kate and Paul had nothing to rely on except sheer talent. I’ll say it again … It was stunning.
Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky setlist 21 September 2019, Hamer Hall Melbourne
Love and Affection
Wild Is The Wind
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Make You Feel My Love
A Song For You
– La Vie En Rose
– Windmills of Your Mind
– You Music Believe In Spring
– I Will Wait For You
– La Vie En Rose
Both Sides Now
This Guys In Love With You
What The World Needs Now
We’ve Only Just Begun
I Touch Myself
The Way We Were