Project Description

SHANE NICHOLSON

Harmonie German Club

Canberra 12 August 2017 (Live Review)

Reviewer – Benjamin Smith

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Shane Nicholson

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Shane Nicholson is becoming something of a stalwart in Australian music. After 20 years and 10 full length records Nicholson has unquestionably earned his place on the stages. With the release of his latest work Love and Blood, the country folk artist is embarking on a 19 date tour up and down the east coast (with a couple of days in Nashville thrown in).

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Opening for Nicholson is his protégé Tori Forsyth, a young singer/songwriter from the Hunter Valley. Hers are plaintive, earnest songs perfectly suited to her vocal talents which are both nuanced and powerful. She plays tracks from her EP, Blackbird, produced by Nicholson and the simple, understated nature of the tracks bares his trademark. At one point Forsyth observes that she doesn’t give a lot away and that’s certainly true, but it might have helped build some rapport with the crowd if she’d opened up a little more than she did. There was a distance between her and her audience that was difficult not to notice. Hopefully with a little more stage time, Forsyth will find her place; the songs certainly deserve it.

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Tori Forsyth

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Nicholson opens his own set with ‘Second Hand Man’ from 2015’s Hell Breaks Loose and follows it with Monkey on a Wire, originally recorded as a debut with ex-wife Kasey Chambers. It’s difficult to separate Nicholson from Chambers, their sound for a time so linked to one another. Nicholson speaks of her briefly but fondly and about tells stories that are awkward but humanizing. The songs are familiar even when they aren’t. Its as if they reference no time or place, not uniquely Australian as such but also not like anything that would come from anyplace else either. The crowd is older, as to be expected, but responsive to Nicholson and there is no formality between the floor and the stage. They are in every way part of the show.

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At one point he comes down from the stage and sings a few numbers among them, very well chosen numbers it should be said, and the effect is intimate and warm. He dons the obligatory Dylan-esque neck brace and plays, amongst others ‘Whistling Cannonballs’ a track he recorded with Paul Kelly. Nicholson wears his influences on his sleeve, and in some cases around his neck, but speaks most warmly of Kelly as a huge influence on his work. He takes a request from the audience and they beg him for his rendition of Kenny Rogers’ classic ‘Lucille’. He obliges, bringing an audience member up on stage to help him with the lyrics, something she’ll no doubt be telling stories about for years to come. Around the middle of the show he brings Forsyth back on stage to perform the track he is best known for ‘Rattlin’ Bones’. Overall it’s a pretty satisfying couple of hours that feels like more of ‘an evening with…’ than a standard show.

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Shane Nicholson

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Afterwards Nicholson and Forsyth hang around the merch desk signing copies of their respective records and meeting the locals. It’s a simple gesture but one that always adds an extra element for fans, especially at intimate gigs like this one.

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AMNPLIFY – DB

My nickname is “The Amnplifier”. Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes that people come here for. My day to day “work” is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences.

Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some “wisdom” from my regular and constant “observations”.

Amnplify your experience. That is what we want you to do here, and if you want to let me know why you do, or don’t, shoot me a message on Facebook.

I also have a nickname “Gurudave” and have a new Q&A I am distributing called “Conversations With Dave – In Deep With The Guru”. Let me know if you are interested in taking it and you can take my “Fuck” Quiz at the same time.

Hope you enjoy yourself here and find something that hits you somewhere.