Live review by The First Fat Girl in Paris

Very stoked about this glowing review of recent my solo performance at Song Lounge from Perth blogger Kate Juliana on her blog The First Fat Girl in Paris. I’m especially chuffed by her comments, as she’s a (former) classically trained orchestral bassoonist! “It has taken me over twelve hours to recover from the ‘WOW’ of Shameem’s performance last night at the Ellington. This is why.”

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It has taken me over twelve hours to recover from the ‘WOW’ of Shameem’s performance last night at the Ellington. This is why.

The over arching theme of the evening was about how to be happy as individuals and as a unified society. The first song Boy, about her brother as he grows up, asks him to beware of what the world can bring and to stay firm in loving himself as he is. The second song Beautiful Soul is her latest release. It ponders why humans learn to be prejudiced. The video set in a skate park in Leederville, shows children playing and overcoming prejudice. The next song called Strawberry concerned her own challenge learning to love the pink birth mark on her face. Yin spoke of equality between mean and women, comparing them to two wings of the bird of life, who in perfect harmony achieves optimal flight. Disappointed  was all to do with forgiveness and the challenges of forgiving when we are really wrong done by. The night was rounded off with  a cover Man in the Mirror of which she introduced “long live the king!”.

Technique went without being noticed as it was flawless. Not an out of tune note nor a miss-timed rhythm. Seated at the eleven foot Steinway, she looked as comfortable as lounging on a Chaise Lounge. Not surprising as her ability on the piano was as spectacular as her vocal feats. The range of sounds and registers that came out of that mouth were thrilling, stunning and entertaining. Her voice was even ‘playing the drums in the absence of her band’ as she told us laughingly during a keyboard introduction. The scatting in Strawberry was not a short twelve bars, but a lengthy creation full of inventiveness rendering me with an incredulous ear. Just amazing, the stuff of genius.

What was ever more impressive than her musical prowess, was her communicative ability. She took all of us on a ride. The variety of emotion in her set, was huge and well balanced. She took us deep into the story, but then jumped to a contrasting emotion refreshing us from sadness or grief. It was delightful, how she herself ‘shook the sadness from her hands’ in order to recover and move on.

This was not only a feast for the ears, it was a sumptuous visual feast. She presented herself beautifully, dressed elegantly with a glowing smile. She had beautiful stage presence, such a great rapport with the audience, so professional and loving. She invited us to be at that piano with her, it wasn’t performer and audience, it was a group of people enjoying music as if it were coming from a higher being. It may be presumptuous to suggest, but I think she enjoyed it as much as we.

The generosity, humility, skill, musicianship, devotion and love that Shameem shared last night with her audience created one hell of a “WOW” performance. Thank you.

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