Live: Emily Barker Returns to a sodden Sydney

Emily Barker

It’s been raining for weeks in Sydney as Emily Barker and Lukas Drinkwater take the stage and welcome us to this concert that seems to be taking place in a time of strife in the world that is almost biblical in nature.

Barker’s album “A Dark Murmuration of Words” has received favourable reviews and been called “an album of spare, striking beauty” by Mojo. Barker and Drinkwater treat us to a number of tracks off the album tonight.

A stand out is “The woman who planted Trees” which is about Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner who started the Green Belt movement. Barker’s voice soars above the sound of the unprecedented rainfall in the background – it is a poignant reminder of the effects of climate change and yet somehow, the song still manages to fill us with hope.

Barker and Drinkwater play three tracks from the latest album “Room 822” with Deborah Conway’s classic “Will You Miss Me When You’re Sober” drawing a rousing reception from the audience, especially when it is revealed that Ms Conway will be playing at this venue in a few weeks’ time. “Mr. Milk” by You Am I has the crowd singing and clapping along to the music. Silverchair’s “Tomorrow” is the only Australian song that Drinkwater knew, prior to recording “Room 822” which features covers of 10 iconic songs.

Emily Barker is a supremely talented vocalist and is well-complemented by Lukas Drinkwater. Her music has been informed by her longing for her hometown of Bridgetown. and the Blackwood River. Barker and Drinkwater will be returning to Australia to live after a long absence so hopefully we’ll see them in Sydney more often.

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