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Review of A Sunday Soiree in the Milk Bar.
by Liza Dezfouli
Take one excellent piano, an excellent pianist (Andrea Keller) to play it and a diva with enormous vocal talent and you’ve got everything you need for an afternoon to savour. And all this in the intimacy of a gorgeous milk bar conversion in Brunswick. Singer/songwriter Julia Messenger’s first Sunday Soiree in the Milk Bar in December sold out so she’s about to hold another one on Sunday January 25th. Yay.
Messenger is a brilliant performer, combining sophistication and sensuality in a delivery that’s sometimes light and playful, sometimes low key, sometimes emotionally intense and always intriguing. Her line up for the first afternoon, which included a glass of bubbly and nibblies, ranged from some classics sounding fresh and also a few deeply felt original tunes penned by herself. The latter include Heartbreak, Let Me Love One More Time, I’d Like to Think I Could Have You and French Love Song. These are tuneful, searing songs with lingeringly honest lyrics you identify with immediately. She’s talented, this girl. The award-winning Andrea Keller is a stunning accompanist.
Her vocal range is impressive and her voice is beautifully polished but what distinguishes Messenger is the sheer variety of styles she delivers while staying true to something in herself. She conveys an enormous range of feelings, even in songs we’ve heard over and over again, like La Vie en Rose, Non, Je ne Regrette Rien, Falling in Love Again and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. It’s a treat to appreciate wonderful songs like this anew; it’s like you’re hearing them for them for the first time. Messenger is a delightful performer and just gorgeous to listen to.
Bookings are necessary and you can do that through Eventbrite.
Julia Messenger has been dubbed a 'world - class' singer by fans and press alike. Her songs and productions have appeared on albums alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, Joss Stone, Moby, Bebel Gilberto, Boozoo Bajou, Nitin Sawhney, Groove Armada, Ursula Rucker, Goldfrapp, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Zero 7, Rae & Christian, Basement Jaxx, Bebel Gilberto, Jamie Callum, Sarah McLachlan and Julee Cruise.
Currently she is working on writing and recording new material @ Milk Bar Studio in Brunswick, Australia.
As a songwriter/singer and producer she has co-written and appeared on albums with legendary musicians of our time such as Klaus Schulze (Tangerine Dream/ Alphaville), Ferry Corsten (#5 DJ in the world today), Kraftwerk and the list goes on.
Termed in the Electronic world as the 'Queen of Chill', she is as much at home singing Jazz as she is at being one of the 'rare strokes of luck in the electronic music scene'.
Earlier in 2011, Julia recorded a Live Album at Australia's Premier Jazz Club Bennetts Lane over two sell out nights. She formerly released this album at a further sell out show at Bennetts Lane in November 2011, after her return from a successful European tour.
"...She has an intriguing and unique approach, using her voice as an instrument and giving each song its full range of emotions, from a sweet lisping vulnerability to passionate longing to tempestuous rage to glory. The journey she takes the listener on means you experience each song anew...Messenger gives each song its own dramatic story, there's a real arc from that first trembling tear to the intensity of full scale emotional fireworks. If it weren't so enjoyably thrilling it could almost be unsettling...
Messenger has a magnificent voice and gives it full range, her singing is note perfect and radiates nuance and power.
Her experience across a variety of styles, from classical electronica to rock to blues as well as jazz and being a composer and producer in her own right gives her shows a satisfying textured quality...
It is only a matter of time before this girl is HUGE here. Julia Messenger has a voice to die for and can sustain a note like nothing on earth. Her vocal technique is original and impressive. Throw in her warm and unpretentious stage presence; this was a stunner of a show in every respect."
Liza Dezfouli, Australian Stage, July 2012
.'..Messenger’s gift is her versatility, the warmth and passion that she brings to each song, and ability to convey the emotions. The songs she chose were all quite famous, but it takes a brilliant singer like Messenger to make you hear them as if for the first time.'
Sara Bannister, Stage Whispers 2012