Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: Kate Miller-Heidke: Catching Diamonds

Yet another reminder that this vocal virtuoso is an Australian icon

Yet another reminder that this vocal virtuoso is an Australian icon

Presented by: Kate Miller-Heidke and Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed: 8 June 2024

From Coachella, to Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, to Eurovision, Kate Miller-Heidke is a musical icon. Together with her husband and collaborator, Keir Nuttall, Miller-Heidke has made a name for herself with songs that blend elements of folk, indie pop and opera, and feature her astounding vocal talent.

Miller-Heidke’s Adelaide performances of her Catching Diamonds tour showcased songs spanning her entire career, from the first time one of her songs was played on the radio to her newest album. It was a relaxed, stripped back acoustic set featuring Keir Nuttall on acoustic guitar, backing vocals and loop machine, Jess Hitchcock on backing vocals, tambourine and shaker, and the woman herself on vocals, keys, acoustic guitar, tambourine and shaker.

Miller-Heidke’s songs frequently provide opportunities to allow her classical training to shine, and her bell-like soprano moments are an incredible display of control and flawless technique. Songs such as O Vertigo and Zero Gravity (the iconic Eurovision song) also show her impressive vocal gymnastics. Equally impressive were the backing vocals by Jess Hitchcock, who showed her own talents by keeping those harmonic runs in O Vertigo in perfect sync with Miller-Heidke. Based on Hitchcock’s work in this performance, her show in this year’s Cabaret Festival, A Fine Romance, is a must see. Rounding out the musical talent on stage is Keir Nuttall, who not only uses the loop machine to create a sound much more complex than you’d expect from only three people on the stage, but also wows the crowd with a couple of impressive guitar solos.

As well as pop favourites such as Last Day on Earth, Sarah, two songs from her newest album (Hectic Glitter and Simpatico), and a few stunning covers, the set list also showcased Miller-Heidke and Nuttall’s versatility with their musical theatre numbers, including Amazing from the acclaimed Muriel’s Wedding The Musical (performed as a duet with Hitchcock), and a song from their newest musical Bananaland. These songs, while still having a flair that identifies them as works of this power couple, a distinct from their pop hits, showing an understanding of the different kind of storytelling required for musical theatre.

Miller-Heidke’s performance proves once again why she is an international superstar and an Australian icon. Sadly for patrons, her final Adelaide performance is sold out, but when the opportunity arises, you must jump at the opportunity to see this vocal virtuoso in action.

Reviewed by Kristin Stefanoff

Photo credit: Claudio Raschella

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Season: ended

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