Tilley’s – 3 Dec 1997

Wednesday 3rd December, Tilley’s, Canberra
Deborah loves Canberra … it must be a combination of the intimate venue Tilley’s and the impecably behaved audience. Most of all though – Deb gets to play the politician!
“Can’t wait for the double disillusion!!” she proclaimed mid way through the set… “F*%& you John Howard!!!” she screamed as she lifted her dress to reveal an Aboriginal flag garter encasing her left calf.
And again – “Who here listens to JJJ??” Deb received a mediocre response. “Well you should all request 2001 Ultrasound… they think it’s too mature. I have just one thing to say to Triple J —-” followed by a huge raspberry. Deb launched into a powerful, tuneful rendition which had the otherwise subdued crowd swaying in their seats.
The new songs sounded fantastic in the acoustic set. Willy’s vocals really provided a solid, smooth support to the tunes, especially in the crowd favourite “It’s a Girl Thing”, and in my favourite “Bag of Sweets”.
Without the full band sound and with a perfectly behaved audience (my friend leaned over and whispered to me “Is this Deborah’s first baby?” and was immediately threatened with expulsion by the venue manager if she didn’t be quiet – who needs bouncers?!?), the lyrics were captured magnificently in the cosy bar. It’s incredible to see an audience nodding not only to the beat of the music but also in agreeance with the lyrics.
The 90 minute set was a true mix of the old and the new but we weren’t treated with “String of Pearls” or “Madame Butterfly is in Trouble”… lucky there’s a few more shows in town!! Still, no one could complain after hearing “Release Me”, “Today I’m a Daisy”, “Alive and Brilliant”, “She Prefers Fire”, and the beautiful “White Roses”.
There was no sign of THE red dress, nor the white sleeveless number. Instead, Deb cut a stunning figure in a glittery gold full length dress. Willy was charming as usual in his loud blue shirt, red jeans and his trademark comfy leather sandles.
Well done and thank you Deb and Willy for a great night, and congratulations to Tilley’s for the magnificent sound, and comfortable smoke-free venue!!
Sarah Groube

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