It’s official – one of the best reasons to put yourself in the Australian Idol firing line is to be rejected. By Jordana Borensztajn.
It’s official – one of the best reasons to put yourself in the Australian Idol firing line is to be rejected. Don't believe me? The proof is everywhere; just look at previous rejects who have made it far further than the winning Casey Donovans of the competition. Just to throw a few names out there; Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll, and most recently, Lisa Mitchell.
In fact, if more aspiring Aussie artists took the judges’ comments and weekly singing tasks a little less seriously, the industry might be sprinkled with some more sugary-sweet musicians like little Lisa Mitchell. Then again, maybe not.
As much as I hate to describe any artist as being one-of-a-kind, when it comes to Mitchell, she plays her own folk-pop game. English-born Mitchell, who hails from Albury in NSW, is undeniably one of the freshest young Aussie songbirds to recently hit our airwaves. Her timid nature, her softly spoken voice, and her placid and reserved on-stage persona speaks volumes to her fans. While she comes across as shy and incredibly conservative, and certainly doesn’t ooze with confidence, it seems she’s on a winning streak; her vulnerability draws you in, and her candid and unpretentious disposition seals the deal.
Having worked with the likes of Clare Bowditch and Ben Lee, and with performances at recent UK festivals under her belt, Mitchell’s experience shows. Not only did she put her finest singing and songwriting talents on display at the first of four sold-out Melbourne gigs, but she showed the crowd at the Corner that she can wear a few different musical hats, jumping confidently from guitar to piano. She glided seamlessly from sombre and moody tracks, to more funky and upbeat songs, and succeeded in getting the audience geared up and dancing, despite being packed into the bandroom elbow-to-elbow.
Mitchell offered insight into her personality with plenty of mid-track banter, and while she didn’t break any new ground or reveal earth-shattering personal information, she babbled more than most musicians, which roused yells, cheers, and even a few marriage proposals.
Highlight tracks off her debut Wonder included “Clean White Love,” “Coin Laundry,” “Neopolitan Dreams” and a very seductive version of “Love Letter.” The only element of her show which was hard to digest was the set, aka ‘Lisa’s forest.’ The stage was decked out in fairy lights, a fake log-wood fire, and an array of leafy decorations. Sounds weird right? Her album has an obvious washing powder theme, but the whole ‘forest element’ came out of nowhere. While Mitchell or her manager get creative points for effort here, in my view the decorations were unnecessary – particularly at a spot like the Corner.
Despite the stage set and associated confusion, on the whole Mitchell’s show was impressive. If future Australian Idol rejects can follow in her footsteps to become some of the country’s most gifted young artists, then I would endorse the show, series after series. For a chick who penned her first real hit in a local coin laundry, I’m certain Mitchell’s international tour calendar will open the door to many more intelligently-crafted songs down the track. Stay on Mitchell’s case – I know I will be.