Missy Higgins @ Her Majesty’s Theatre
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Missy Higgins @ Her Majesty’s Theatre

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Fresh from scoring her third consecutive number one album, Missy Higgins staged an arresting performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre. First to the stage though was Butterfly Boucher, a multi-instrumentalist with an abundance of charisma. She charmed the crowd effortlessly, her enigmatic and often eccentric means to neat pop songs winning praise from patrons, not to mention her wicked sense of humour. 5678! and her David-O’Doherty-inspired collaboration with Missy Higgins (None The Wiser) were the highlights, her brief but beguiling set a success.

Higgins returned the stage soon after, the songstress met with rapturous affection. Accompanied by an apparently faultless ensemble, Higgins indulged in clinical brilliance. She made the evening’s spine-tingling pinnacles appear so effortless, the likes of Ten Days and The Special Two particularly enchanting. It was all very impressive from an artist who, not too long ago, quit music altogether. In fact, there was no hint whatsoever that Higgins had even missed a beat, the show – as well as the new material played throughout – the best and most comprehensive response possible to the anxieties that forced her sabbatical. Her zest and renewed enthusiasm, near-palpable, emanated beautifully.

Those unfamiliar with Higgins’ new LP were treated to several tasters, the feisty Hello Hello and the anxious Everyone’s Waiting among the highlights. Watering Hole almost stole the show, the bluesy interlude hosting a cacophony of animal cries upon Higgins’ request. The theatre would erupt enthusiastically, a stray whimper or two even cropping up long after the song’s conclusion. In a welcome twist, many fan-favourite tracks were enhanced via tiny, innovative tweaks courtesy of Higgins’ band, the ensemble daring to put their own spin on much-loved songs. Meanwhile, Boucher would return as an integral part of Higgins’ band, playing bass and serving up stellar harmonies. Her likeness to Higgins’ vocals was astonishing, emerging a treat throughout.

Overall, despite the strength of Higgins’ new material, the evening belonged to the classics. Scar and Steer fitted out Higgins’ faux encore, leaving the theatre buzzing. Higgins, clearly happy to be back in the saddle, gave her fans every reason to be ecstatic, her show at Her Majesty’s Theatre a triumph.

BY NICK MASON

Photo credit: Charles Newbury

LOVED: The warmth shared between artist and audience.

HATED: Those overzealous punters seemingly hellbent on stealing the spotlight.

DRANK: Water. Has anyone ever been hammered at a Missy Higgins concert?