Filing in obediently to the miniature pretend circus tent that is The Famous Spiegeltent, the click clack of heels across the timber floors spoke of times past and a touch of class. Fumbling through for a wooden fold out chair while anxiously guarding my $12 pint (note: the commonly sourced ale was from Adelaide, not the fucking moon) likely heads were spotted around packed room to the gentle warming ring of tuned strings and brushed snares.
With the band assembled and settled into a cheery introduction, blending a string quartet, guitars and drums the delayed arrival of the leading lady was to grant a moment of calm. Skipping out from behind the stage and up the steps was the lovely Georgia Fields. Dressed to impress in a glimmering flow of gold leaf skirt and head piece levelling somewhere between a matador and the outfit Nathalie Portman got around in for that rubbish Star Wars prequel thing. (Don’t scoff, sci-fi fans. I don’t have time to look it up. You all understand and I don’t care. Just cobble together the image in your specky heads and keep reading.)
Grinning from ear to ear, Fields took up a seat at the resident grand piano, tunings were agreed and not a moment was wasted as the bright sound filled the great room. Cheery and engaging as always, Fields’ rasping sweet voice drew smiles instantly while the band nodded diligently to the note of their highly strung bows. Plucking primarily from her eclectic folk-pop filled 2010 self-titled debut album the intermitting bum notes and shit jokes calmed the band and charmed the Monday evening crowd. Hopping up from the keys and grappling her shiny Epiphone proved uneventful as the guitar was deemed un-tunable… no need to panic – ever the adaptive professional, Fields didn’t miss a beat and her trusty uke was on hand for an adaptive save. The sweet strum coupled with the brushed snare of a water tight act to really allow Fields’ to shine above the melody. Wide eyed with a knowing smirk, the end result of plan b couldn’t have been better. We wouldn’t see the guitar for some time.
Having adapted her stage show to suit the occasion with measured interest, Fields’ was more than happy to mourn a loss to the set. “Normally we do this with trumpets… so I was wondering if you all could find little trumpets in your hearts…” As if she needed to ask? We did require some coaching, but with a crash course done and dusted our dull, talentless drawls combined for chorus supporting hoots far more palatable than you’d imagine. Result? Sociable, choose-your-own-adventure gold.
Quickly through an hour-long set, Fields’ took the time to introduce the band as her good friends rather than session attending resources. The carefully crafted arrangements gave rise to cracking single “All The Kings Men” as the doe-eyed onlookers took in all manor of banter, giddy tales of private humiliation and a selection of soon to be released new mini-melodramas.
Sounding out with a bow and a smile from all… an unplanned encore brought about a decisionless stare off between Fields and the band. Leading from the front, the band were cast aside in favour of the offending tune-defying guitar. Parents were told to leave. Extended family were asked to forgive in advance. Proclaiming that she once thought the song was a tribute to My Little Pony dolls, curiosity filled the room as relatives plugged their ears in fear. Alone at the mic but still surrounded by a suspended band, Fields’ broke into a folk-pop rendition of the truly mystifying 1996 hit from career idiot rapper Ginuwine – “Pony”. (!). Brilliant. Nothing so wrong has ever been so right and the resulting lyrics spinning around in my head for the next two days would attest to that.
Georgia Fields gigs are rad.
– Ciaran Wilcox