Well, I’m guessing that the purpose of the Soothers Pop-Up Concerts is that when it comes to that critical decision, your mind will still be on the great gig you attended and your subconscious will guide your hand straight to the Soothers. Otherwise I think it’s quite an unexpected collaboration – other than the fact that singers often suffer from sore throats, I’m not sure what other synergies there are between live music, throat lozenges and Nova radio’s youthful target market. Especially as I think they missed a key marketing opportunity by not giving out free samples – instead, they charged you 50c for a packet. That means that for approximately $150 in the marketing budget they could have had people dressed up Soothers t-shirts handing out free samples to the 300 or so gig goers who had nothing to do between sets but mill around, chat and see Soothers paraphernalia everywhere. I don’t have a MBA but I am really confused by Soothers‘ marketing plan. And frankly, their ridiculous 50c charge for a product they’re trying to promote (in an otherwise expensive and elaborate manner) have actually put me off buying Soothers next time.
Anyway, back to the music. Soothers Pop-Up Concerts are a series of one-off gigs around Australia and the only way to get tickets is to enter a draw with Nova. The first of the Melbourne concerts was in the atmospherically gothic Abbotsford Convent featuring Sarah Blasko and a support act whose name I didn’t catch (Whitey? Wiley?).
Whitey/Wiley/Whatever was a young singer/songwriter who should really focus on the music and keep his banter to a minimum. His guitar-based folky-rock music was pretty good – intelligent and reasonably melodic. But my over-riding impression from his set was his irritating interspersal of juvenile breakfast-radio humour, from telling the audience to shut up, dissing Kisschasey, strumming Nirvana chords randomly and telling a long-winded stupid anecdote about a dead rabbit. His PR management also needs to tell him to repeat his name more frequently and more clearly. I can’t find him anywhere on the internet.
Sarah Blasko, on the other hand, was clearly a consummate professional. The marionette-like movements of her graceful frame (dressed appropriately in a dress inspired by a nun’s habit) and her expressively delicate face were entrancing to watch and her sometimes dark, sometimes soothing, sometimes raw music literally transported me for the hour. I didn’t feel time passing at all as my body rocked and swayed to the emotional pull of the music from this superbly talented performer. She was also charming and gracious with the audience without pretending to be best mates with them. As my friend said “I think I love Sarah Blasko“.
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