Live Music: Jane Siberry
Galaxy Theatre, Mon 14 Feb 1994

Real Groove
Bettina Vine

Jane Siberry's only New Zealand gig was stunning - perhaps the most extraordinary solo performance you could ever see. The sell-out show kicked off with a fine solo performance from Lorina Harding, worthy opener for a fellow country-woman.

Siberry in the flesh was amazing, fragile-looking, and gorgeous, and the gig was exactly as per the official perscription for a "sib-gather": a solo event at a not-too-big venue that mixes spoken word, solo songs, and some of her independent film outings. From the first words, her warmth and humour captivated an enthusiastic crowd. The recitation was excellent; Siberry's writing veers from melancholy to comic, and her videos were a great chance to hear (and perhaps understand) songs she can't perform solo. I'd never made sense of 'The Bird In the Gravel' before, but her operatic treatment of it was delightful.

When confronted with the total visual saturation of a sib-vid, you have no choice but to revel in the experience, but her wonderous, haunting, floaty songs still manage to overshadow everything else she does. The Q&A session in her encore didn't really reveal that much about Jane (except how she does her hair!) but when she finished with 'The Vigil' you felt like you were listening to the soul of a woman who is part angel. A woman for our times!