Following a quite successful run on this year’s Australia’s Got Talent, local five-piece Beside Lights were ready to re-introduce themselves to the Perth scene with an intimate show upstairs at Fremantle’s newest live music venue – C5. Opening the night’s proceedings, local chanteuse Shameem Taheri-Lee warmed up an already healthy early turnout with her soulful mashup of pop, R&B and soul, singing along to her own backing tracks and playing some live keyboards. While the backing track option took away from the moment a little, she made up for it with her captivating stage presence, a cover of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror going down particularly smoothly. The Alfred Gorman/Harvey Rae DJ verse-off in the gaps provided easy transitions between the acts; playing Kimbra straight after Shameem’s set feeling particularly appropriate, along with other fun tunes like the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys joint Empire State Of Mind and Justice Vs. Simian’s We Are Your Friends.
All photos taken by Anthony Lim.
So recently I rocked up to the West TV studios on a freeeezing cold morning… was bundled through make-up and then whisked into their chilly warehouse-like back studio, among some other hot new acts from WA, to do an interview with these lovely people – Nikkita and Antonio. If you’re impatient, skip ahead to 06:17 to catch me!
Thank you to Paul for these photos.
Four days, four shows, four cities in four states. Sound like a mad mad mad mad schedule to you? It was! Let’s dispel the myth now: touring is not like going on a holiday where you happen to rock up to a club some evenings and play a show. It’s hard, grinding work… great fun, but tough!
Many thanks to Tony Chiu for the photos.
The Brisbane Jazz Club was hectic this Saturday evening; it was like unfurling a surprise gift. A classy supper club, the beautiful cityscape posed a wonderful setting to the stage of a simple jazz rhythm rhythm section with bass, guitar, keyboard supported by a grand piano and a jazz kit propping the backup vocalist and vanguard of Perth singer-songwriter Shameem. Covers of ’90s tracks from Jon Secada’s ‘Just Another Day’ to Erykah Badu’s sassy ‘Certainly’, and a stunning unplugged piano version of 4 Non Blonde’s ‘What’s Up’, were worked in alongside originals from Shameem’s self-titled album. A charming stream of patter explained the history of each song. From the strawberry coloured birthmark on her cheek for ‘Strawberry’, to a woman’s perspective in a male dominated world with ‘Yin’ and the funky groove of ‘Parents & Children’, Shameem’s vocal suppleness and song-writing talents were on display. Her melismatic improvisation and scatting shone as her tones varied between angelic and forceful. Shameem’s dynamic charisma was apparent to all while her band pulsated. The guitar wandered in and out of melodies, the keys enhancing textures, the drums abounding with rimshots while the bass remained at the centre of this controlled cataclysm. The performance had all the reminiscence of Jacques Prevert, the R&B of Angie Stone, an Ella Fitzgerald treatment with the tightness of a Gil Evans score and the pace of The Brand New Heavies; unplugged and lashed with exuberance. There’s nothing like the vibrancy of live music. Package it in the Brisbane Jazz Club with top musicianship and it can’t be beat.
Shameem is a contemporary jazz, soul and R&B singer who was born in Australia to a Chinese-Malaysian father and Iranian mother.
She’s currently on a national tour to promote the release of a self-titled debut which will bring the sonstress and her full band to Adelaide for one show only.
“I actually had recorded an EP back in 2009,” Taheri-Lee says, putting into context the approach she took to her debut album. “The EP was recorded more like a jazz project – we did three takes for each song, and then chose the best take. With this album we took more time and put a bit more consideration into production. Also, when we went to record the album, the band had been together for much longer and we’d performed and fleshed out the songs much more than we did before the EP recording… so the arrangements are more mature.”