Robyn Loau has been one of my favourite local divas since the glory days of Girlfriend, so I jumped at the chance to attend last night's intimate showcase at Slide. Accompanied by only a piano, Robyn performed a delicious selection of Girlfriend hits, solo material and cover versions - all interspersed with funny anecdotes and memories from her almost 20 year career in the music industry. The result was something closer to a one woman stage show than a concert in the traditional sense but the concept worked brilliantly and I loved every minute of it!
The show kicked off with a pitch perfect rendition of "Purple Rain", which perfectly highlighted Robyn's exquisite voice. She then told a cute story about her days at the Johnny Young talent school (I wonder if she ever ran into Dannii) and channelled her inner child to re-create her first ever professional performance, tutu and all! That was followed by a fun cover of "Dancing In The Street" before Robyn got around to my favourite topic - Girlfriend! I loved hearing about the formation of the group, particularly when Robyn described some of the girls as "hideous". Take that Siobhánn! Robyn announced a special "celebrity" guest would be joining her to perform Girlfriend's massive #1 hit "Take It From Me" but it only turned out to be Flop Stars Live runner-up Miranda Murphy (below). The performance was really cute. Miranda wore the famous Girlfriend flower hat and they sounded great together. It's nice to know that Miranda's not living in a cardboard box in the Cross.
The highlight of the entire evening for me was hearing "Without You", Girlfriend's sappy 1992 top 20 smash hit. I don't care about the embarrassing lyrics or the dreadful video, "Without You" was The Friend's classiest moment! It was always going to be tough to top the Girlfriend flashback but Robyn came very close by introducing her father (below) to the stage to sing a duet. It was lovely and inspired me to listen to "Siva Pacifica" on my Ipod on the way to work this morning. Speaking of former triumphs, Robyn announced that her unreleased 1997 opus "Malaria" will finally be hitting stores in June or July. If her stunning performance of "Sick With Love" is any indication, it will be worth the 11 year wait!
Next on the setlist were fabulous covers of Des'ree's "Why Should I Love You" and Incognito's "Still A Friend Of Mine". Robyn then asked one of her music students to perform a song before launching into her stunning 2007 comeback anthem "She Devil". Unfortunately, Robyn didn't re-create Toadie's lingerie parade but she did change the lyrics to "She Devil blew a fart"! The show closed with a fantastic cover of Margret Urlich's "Only My Heart Calling" (now there's another diva long overdue for a comeback) only to return with an eerily good version of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights". The perfect end to a fantastic evening. Make sure to keep an eye on Robyn's Myspace for album and tour updates.