“I walked into the sanctuary of the Lighthouse as the lights dimmed. The crowd chatted in soft murmurs, still and expectant. It was in stark contrast to the rest of festival park that was teeming with the weekend crowd, loud and boisterous.
Nardi Simpson, Kaleena Briggs and their guitarist walked out onto the stage with an air of very humble, quiet confidence.
‘At soundcheck there were only about 50 chairs in here. And we thought, that’s ok, we should be able to fill them. Then we looked out before and saw they put more chairs out. 240 of them they told us, and we got a bit worried! But look at all you beautiful people, you filled them!!’
As the first notes in perfect harmony drifted through the Lighthouse space and the hairs on my arms stood up, I understood why.
The Stiff Gins have been playing together for 20 years, but it was the first time I was treated to their beautiful music. Their songs are very story-oriented and I found myself very much drawn into each one. Their moniker was a reclamation of an offensive reference to Aboriginal women, and this seems to be a good analogy for everything they do. Standing up for what they believe in, in a very strong, but un-confronting way.
Their stunning harmonies are the stand out, their two gorgeous voices melding as if into one. But it was their wicked humour and effortless banter between songs that really stuck with me. It was a beautiful evening of stories under the stars.”
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