The musician and the puppet – Lior



Lior playing in Perth March, 2009

By Alley Crooks

Lior – Powerhouse, New Farm – Thursday, April 23. 

I went into this gig not knowing what to expect.  I had not listened to Lior a lot in the past but had been lucky enough to be given a ticket by a friend.  The few songs that I were familiar with I loved so I decided it would be worth spending the dwindling remains of my weekly pay on a taxi to the Powerhouse to see him.  I left the gig with a renewed love for Lior, a bit of a crush on an English guy called Mike and the confirmation that every gig, of every artist and band for the remainder of history should have a shadow artist on stage to translate the meaning of songs through shadow puppets. 

I have to begin by saying; the Powerhouse theatre is a great venue and should be used a lot more in the future.  It was the second time this year I had been to an event there and there is just something about it that creates the best vibe.  I was seated on the highest mezzanine on the third level and thought I had a pretty fantastic view from the top.

I arrived just before the support act was due to begin and was told that he was definitely worth a listen.  Mike Rosenberg from an English band, Passenger, had the audience in the palm of his hand.  At times he reminded me somewhat of Damien Rice.  I think he was a little taken aback at how much the audience was listening, saying himself that the support act back home is usually just background music for people to chat and drink through.  I don’t think I heard a single person talk through his set, a really talented lyricist, he had everyone captivated and, at the same time, in stitches with laughter.  He has definitely made a fan out of me.

Lior came on stage and proclaimed that the night would be a summary of the last four years through song and shadow puppets.  heal_me_perth2I was immediately wowed by his voice live, that man’s got some powerful pipes.  He was accompanied only by a string quartet, a man he met at Woodford festival providing percussive beats for a couple of songs with what may have been djembe drums, or something very similar anyway, and of course, these delightful shadow puppets.  Lior and shadow artists, Stephen Mushin and Anna Parry collaborated to extend meaning behind the songs through these puppets and the result was something really special.  As Lior sang, Stephen Mushin created everything from camels to kites to cranes, all so amazingly intricate and detailed.  Just describing it with words does not do it justice but Powerhouse staff were ready to pounce on sight of cameras, so alas, no photos of my own to share. 

Stand out songs for me were “Daniel” and “This Old Love” where the string quartet really added that extra something and “I’ll Forget You” a duet where he was joined on stage by Katie Noonan.  Songs “Autumn Flow” and “Diego and the Village Girl” really put Lior’s incredible vocal range on show but it was the final song of the evening “Avinu Malkeinu”, a Hebrew prayer, performed acapella, that really shook the foundations of the theatre. 

So here I have come to the conclusion that this Lior gig was a feast for the eyes and the ears and I must take this opportunity to say this to all musicians, troubadours and Jaggers alike: with the addition of shadow puppets to your set, your popularity will increase ten fold.  And you can take that to the bank. 


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