Checked into

Kate will be playing her greatest hits and most beloved pop songs, as well as performing tracks from her original musicals Muriel’s Wedding the Musical and the new Bananaland, some unexpected covers, taking requests, and telling stories from across her varied career. Excitingly, she’ll also be debuting new material from her forthcoming 6th studio album, which will dive deep into the genre of ‘gothic folk’.

This is a special opportunity to see Kate in intimate, stripped-back mode, accompanied by her long-term collaborator Keir Nuttall on guitar.

Source: KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: Catching Diamonds Tour 2024 | The Round

I feel like there are artists that you think you know, but never get beyond a superficial listen. I am not sure if it is because of the sources of music, such as radio, or something else, but I feel like I always appreciated Kate Miller-Heidke’s unique talent, but never dived in much further. I think that this changed after seeing her perform ‘Wuthering Heights’ as a part of the ABC New Years Eve concert, streaming music and Child in Reverse with its minimal production.

Although I listen to a lot of music, not much passes across the generations, Kate Miller-Heidke seems to be that exception. After missing out on Taylor Swift tickets, I bought tickets to see Kate Miller-Heidke for my daughter’s birthday, her first live concert. In part, this was because for the Catching Diamonds tour, Miller-Heidke was performing a cut-back show at theatres in the suburbs and in the country, meaning that it was all ages. I actually did not know what to expect from The Round. My wife suggested it might be a bit more dressy. There were definitely no band t-shirts. It felt more like the theatre.

It was also good to discover another great support act, Georgia Mooney.

Mooney’s music exists beyond the bounds of time and space. An avowed Star Wars nerd who presents as a 40s movie star – she seems both from a long time ago and a galaxy far away, while speaking directly to the present. Influences from every member of the Wainwright family, Joni Mitchell, the sophistication of the Great American Songbook and even classical composers sift through her songs seamlessly, alongside fuzzed out guitars and production that evoke the unsettling genius of Kate Bush – both her idiosyncratic wall of sound instrumentation and unexpected turns of chords and melodies.

Source: Georgia Mooney

I had never heard her music before and never seen a dulcimer played. This was also made more interesting listening to her album, Full of Moon, afterwards.

With the sound stripped-back, I wondered what impact that might have on the sound? Interestingly, aided by an array of effects pedals, Keir Nuttall on acoustic often managed to fill the sound of a whole band. While with the support from Kate Miller-Heidke on piano and guitar, I was left wondering if a full band was even needed? Even with her tracks from Child in Reverse, with their programmed loops, I feel that these would have been the same with or without the band, especially as she was supported vocally for these tracks by Georgia Mooney. I actually feel that the stripped-back sound allowed more flexibility to improvise. This all then served as the perfect foundation for Kate Miller-Heidke’s voice.

My (poor) memory of the setlist

  • Fire and iron
  • O Vertigo
  • Sarah
  • The Tiger Inside Will Eat the Child
  • Humiliation
  • Caught in the Crowd
  • A Simon and Garfunkel track
  • Last Day on Earth
  • Hectic Glitter
  • You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore
  • Simpatico
  • Zero Gravity
  • Words / Paint It Black
  • Psycho Killer
In an interview with Metal Hammer, Tom Morello rues the fact that young people are unwilling to put in the time and effort these days when it comes to mastery.

“I’m disgusted by the fact that a lot of young people these days aren’t willing to sit down and practise the electric guitar for eight hours a day. They are all looking for an easier route to becoming famous. Look at the Top 50 songs on the radio in the US – there are no guitar solos in them. I see [Tom’s 2018 all-star solo album] The Atlas Underground as a Trojan horse. I want it to turn a new generation of kids on to cranking up the guitar.”

In an interview with Tim Shiel, Kate Miller-Heidke touched on the effort and sacrifices required to maintain her skills. In order to preserve her voice, she does not drink, smoke or go out in loud venues.

This sense of dedication reminds me of the story about Picasso’s napkin.

The story goes that Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”

It can be so easy to judge a provide off the cuff remarks on a piece of music, without any recognition of the time, effort, sacrifice and nuance that may sit behind it. However, this only captures a part of the space. I guess this is part of Ed Droste’s point it usually takes five listens to form a judgement.

Listened album by Kate Miller-Heidke from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Child in Reverse is the fifth studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke. The album was announced on 6 August 2020 and released on 30 October 2020.

Child in Reverse is Miller-Heidke’s first studio album in six years, following on from 2014’s O Vertigo!.[3] It has been described by her team as “her most pop album yet”.

Both the sense of authenticity and honesty of this album, as well as the measured production of this album reminds me of Lorde’s Melodrama. Whereas, Lorde’s album recounts her transition into the adult world, Miller-Heidke looks back on life with a sense of acceptance of who she is and forgiveness for any misgivings.

It’s hard to separate Miller-Heidke’s musical theatre dalliances from songs like ‘Twelve Year Old Me’. Her storytelling is so precise and the imagery so vivid that you could transplant it into a theatrical setting with ease.

Her balance of poignance and playfulness has always set her apart, and there are countless moments on this record that highlight how emotionally commanding she can be, without coming across overbearing.

Some of the tracks came out of an APRA SongHub songwriting weekend. She signed up after going through a phase of writer’s block. Miller-Heidke reflects upon the experience of working with Evan Klar and Hailey Collier and the benefit of letting the songs live through the ‘ears and hearts of others’:

It actually needs to live and breathe through the ears and hearts of others, and sometimes that can paradoxically make it sound more personal and more intimate. Sometimes other people can just help you distill what you’re saying down to an essence.

The album was produced by Klar. In an interview with The Music, Miller-Heidke explains what she felt he brought to the table.

[Klar’s] arrangements are a little bit strange and surprising, but they’ve got this sparkly, airy sweetness and I think that style compliments my voice beautifully.

His aesthetic as a producer is what really drew me to his work, and made me want to work with him across the whole record. These are all sounds that come out of his computer, but there’s such a warmth and analog humanity there. They are imperfect sounds, but there is so much sparkle and air to them. What he does sounds so beautifully fresh and real to me.

In a conversation with Tim Shiel on Double J, Miller Heidke talks about being told to write her own ‘Bad Guy’. This was the seed for People Pleaser, which was her frustrated response. This reminds me of Missy Higgins’ story about how she wrote scar.

Place between Washington and Lorde