BMA Magazine – Gig Reviews: Shameem, Cherie Kotek Lane

So I was surfing Google and I found this BMA Magazine review of my Canberra tour show by accident! What a nice surprise…

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 At The Basement, Friday February 20

Been to The Basement lately? The venue’s makeover is gobsmacking, with the old décor, including the big spider, replaced by a flash look with autographed guitars and LPs on the walls. While still supporting metal fans, the venue now embraces a wider range of genres. Instead of bone crushing beats and ragged screams, tonight’s show engulfed us in a wave of funk.

Local singer Cherie Lane bathed the small crowd in her blues/soul brand of observational songs about life. Losing herself in the moment, head back, eyes closed and swaying rapidly side to side, she either thrashed out four-to-the-floor strumming or used the body of her small guitar for percussion. Her highlight was an extended cover of ‘Fever’, with some blue metal in the vocals. Lane fed off the energy of the audience, engaging them in mini sing-alongs and singing her heart out.

Shameem bounced us back to the 80s with a cover of ‘Message in a Bottle’, before bursting into her signature soul/jazz sound. Her voice trickling down like warm honey, she accompanied the songs with either fine arm and hand movements or a jerky little dance. A real presence, her LED bright show featured songs about family, her birthmark and wishing there was time for a bubble bath. ‘Beautiful Soul’ showed off the many facets of her voice while swapping roles with backing vocalist Astrid Ripepi in ‘Other Half of My Heart’ turned that song into a creamy duet. Acknowledging her Iranian roots in both story and language, ‘Chill in the Fire’ opened with words in Persian, haunting like a muezzin’s call against a backdrop of shimmering cymbals. There was audience participation in the closer ‘Under One Sun’, with help on the chorus from one punter (go Carlo!).

By Rory McCartney

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