IT’S hard not to feel a tad melancholy that Holly Throsby increasingly locks herself in her home office occupied with the immense task of novel writing.
Opportunities to hear her distinctly sweet and whispered voice are becoming rare. And what a voice it remains.
On Saturday night Throsby returned to Lizotte’s to promote her latest album After A Time, which ended a six-year sabbatical from the music world to attend to the more overwhelming tasks of giving birth to a daughter and writing and publishing her first novel, Goodwood.
The joy of seeing Throsby perform music live is not only the fact it’s become almost a novelty, but because the 38-year-old is enjoying herself again on stage. It wasn’t always so. In 2011 she retreated from the music industry due to the rigours of touring.
On Saturday night at Lizotte’s Throsby appeared right at home. Her beautifully fragile voice one minute made the mundane task of springtime weeding seem magical on Gardening and then she used self-effacing humour to joke about forgetfulness in remembering lyrics, which led a Cairns newspaper to write the headline, “Dude, where’s my lyrics?”
Backed by a new band of Tim Kevin (guitar), Holly Conner (drums) and Abel Cross (bass), Throsby’s sometimes sedate recorded material breathed with new life. Conner’s bass-heavy percussion gave Find Your Way Back Home a sense of dread and Kevin’s jangly guitar improved new track Mountain.
One stunning moment came when Throsby invited Dane Taylor, frontman of support band Shining Bird, on stage to perform the duet What Do You Say? The touching conversation between a long-term couple was delivered with real honesty by both Throsby and Taylor.
After A Time did feature prominently in the set list, but Throsby rejoiced in the opportunity to examine her musical past. Several songs from her 2004 debut Oh Night and 2006’s Under The Town were dusted off, including Up With The Birds, I Worry Very Well and a jazzy version of Making A Fire.
Throsby is returning to work on her second novel at the completion of this tour, so God knows when the next opportunity to hear and see Throsby perform will present itself. What a shame.