Meg Washington Performs Stunning Show With Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - Noise11.com
Meg Washington with the MSO photo by Michelle Pitiris

Meg Washington with the MSO photo by Michelle Pitiris

Meg Washington Performs Stunning Show With Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

by Paul Cashmere on February 12, 2024

in News

Pairing a contemporary artist with a symphony orchestra can sometimes be fraught with ‘square peg in a round hole’ syndrome but Meg Washington with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was truly stunning.

The music of Meg Washington is real, it has depth, it has emotion so the heavy lifting was already done for the orchestra. Conductor Vanessa Scammell brought Meg and the MSO into unison which felt like they had been together for ages.

Meg has never been a popstar so she has never had anything to prove. When she addressed the crowd she admitted, Sometimes like this, I don’t know what to say” and said she was grateful for “the gift” that music gave her. Those first two albums reached no 3 and no 5 on the Australian chart but neither generated a hit song. Meg albums are bodies of work best appreciated from start to finish. Likewise, her shows share that same consistency taking the audience on a journey. At one point she said this evolution was “musical theatre”.

Meg’s choice of songs for the symphony shows is likewise intriguing. Around half the event is from the recent ‘Batflowers’ album of 2020. Three songs ‘Cement’, ‘How To Tame Lions’ and ‘Sunday Best’ take us back to her musical origins but there are also the two new songs ‘Lobster’ and ‘Honeysuckle Island’ to show us that Meg’s musical voyage is still evolving.

She said ‘Lobster’ was written for her first child. ‘Cement’ is a short story while ‘Honeysuckle Island’ is a holiday and then the trilogy of ‘Batflowers’ songs at the end brings us up to date with where Meg is musically now.

The songs ‘Batflowers’ album were made to be performed live. In original form they have magnificence. In orchestrated form they a majestic.

Meg Washington and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, 9 February 2024 at Hamer Hall Melbourne

Catherine Wheel arr. Paul Hankinson
 (from Batflowers, 2020)
Sunday Best arr. Ross Irwin
(from I Believe You Liar, 2010)
Saint Lo arr. Joe Twist
(from Moon Tunes, 2016)
Achilles Heart arr. Iain Grandage
(from Batflowers, 2020)
Skeleton Key arr. Joe Twist
(Insomnia EP, 2011)
How To Tame Lions arr. Ross Irwin (from How To Tame Lions EP, 2009)

INTERVAL
Solo

Duo 

Lobster arr. Paul Hankinson
(new)
Cement arr. Ed Fairlie
(from How To Tame Lions EP, 2009)
Honeysuckle Island arr. Paul Hankinson
(new, 2022)
Kiss Me Like We’re Gonna Die arr. Iain Grandage
(from Batflowers, 2020)
Batflowers arr. Jess Wells(from Batflowers, 2020)
Lazarus Drug arr. Paul Hankinson (from Batflowers, 2020)

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