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MEG MAC @ The Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA – 04/10/17 (Live Review)

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Meg Mac

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If her first almost faultless performance was anything to go by, Meg Mac officially rules over the city of Perth this week with five sold out shows at The Rosemount Hotel. In fact the gothic styled singer has been playing to sold out out venues in every city promoting her long awaited debut album Low Blows.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Stuart Bucknell

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Meg Mac or the persona of Meg Mac has clearly developed since she was last in town. She’s always previously presented herself as half 80s femme fatale, half Witchery spokesperson but now there is an undeniable sense of presentation. With her band all dressed in black, the singer strolled out looking like she was in her Sunday best, in a cream lace linen suit and wide brimmed campaign hat. In fact, as she opened with slow burner Turning you could mistake Meg Mac as a minister impassionately preaching from the pulpit. Her graceful and understated use of the stage also exuded a confidence through new songs Grace Gold and odd duck Kindness.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Stuart Bucknell

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Kindness started like a carriage on a train track but then changed complete tack with a melodic interlude before heading back into the smacking rhytmn. In all its kookiness it worked and suggested that Meg Mac is curious about exploring different compositions. Later in her set she proved a deft hand at live looping with Saint Philomene. Written here in Perth during her WAAPA days and sung entirely in French it was a swarthy yet sexy rendition. And old favourite and Bill Withers cover, Grandma’s Hands never sounded so dangerous descending into a bass heavy conclusion so full of emotional drama that it could’ve been the closer of the set.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Stuart Bucknell

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And this is the Meg Mac creed, neo-classic soul delivered with moody theatre that makes every song feel like its purpose is to seep into the bones of the listener. Her band had a huge hand in this; with determined gazes they played tighter than an otter’s pocket through gospel driven Known Better and Never Be. It’s always a real pleasure to see a genuinely first class band, and rather this being a criticism- it would have been a cool acknowledgment if Meg Mac had introduced the different players.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Peter Mundy

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However that may go against what Meg Mac was trying to build; singing through newer material Low Blows and Maybe It’s My First Time she would make direct eye contact with individuals in the audience all with an impassive gaze that laser beamed you to the performance, only betrayed every now and then with her softly spoken banter and slight smile. She also seemed to be at her most vulnerable when sitting at the keyboard, and I suspect, where she naturally likes to be. Shiny Bright a simply constructed song was, as Mac revealed, composed at the Electric Lady studio in New York when she realised not everything was shiny bright. Additionally encore If You Want Me To Stay stripped back the drama to be simply a woman playing for herself.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Peter Mundy

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The crowd revelled in the set, first with a dreamy look on their face then later singing along with gusto to many songs, but none more noticeable than night’s closer Roll Up Your Sleeves. Ending on a high there was literally nothing to fault about the performance, and the decision to play in a smaller venue was perfect for her show. Supporting act Georgia Fair, and hometown heroes The Money War were fitting support acts, with The Money War feeling delivering increasingly cohesive, boppy, 90s inspired indie.

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Meg Mac

MEG MAC . Photo – Peter Mundy

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In Cages Mac sung, “October please be good to me”, there’s no doubt, from last night that it intends to follow through. So if you have a ticket consider yourself lucky because you are about to see an artist who is currently on top of her game. If you don’t have one, best you learn for next time.

4.5 stars

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Checkout Stuart Bucknell’s gallery of Meg Mac’s Sydney show HERE

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Checkout Peter Mundy’s gallery of Meg Mac’s Adelaide show HERE

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