Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

Heidi Everett reviews Donna Williams and The Aspinauts


Cats Home by Donna Williams  Heidi Everett is an awesome performer so it was a great honor to get this review from her.  Enjoy.  Here it is:

“The gig – ‘Rock and Rebuild’ benefit concert for Victoria’s bushfire crisis, was organised and promoted by Kaine Marsh, head of Finbar Production.  The bands – A very eclectic yet thoroughly charismatic line up of artists who have some sort of connection with the towns affected by the fires. The location – Hurstbridge Oval, an iconic picture of pure Aussieness.

Tigger-dog and I had a visual introduction to Rock and Rebuild as the officially on-time Connex rolled into Hurstbridge station. A sun dried brick of a country oval transformed wonderfully into a fruitful orchard of stalls and country folk milling around a flat bed truck pumping out music with a whole lotta heart. As we lounged around in front of the stage, Donna and the Aspinauts sauntered into their first number and had the audience looking up from their snags to see what the hell had hit them front and centre between the eyes and ears.

A-ha! These were no ordinary folk songs to be kum-by-ya’d around the campfire, no way! As the guys in the Aspinauts band changed gear quicker than a red Ferrari, front-woman Donna kept apace brilliantly with her phonetically charged lyrics and mesmerizing hands shaping the melody like an artist at the easel. I watched, captivated like the crowd around me. Each song blurred deliciously into the next with Donna’s spoken word etching out the poetry of human condition, always so very eloquent and astutely connected to the song the band was about to launch into, such a poignant moment when Donna painted the scene of a blackened landscape, burnt by the very fires this benefit concert set to quell.

The set itself was just the right amount of time for Donna and the Aspinauts own musical genre to be smacked firmly into the hearts and minds of the audience. As a muso myself, I intuitively looked around to see the reaction of people who might not have had the chance to experience such a richly flavoured ensemble before, and as a muso, I can confidently say that The Aspinauts had the crowd in the rather elusive ‘palm of the hand’.

I’ve seen this band a few times now and I thoroughly recommend an audience with a Donna and the Aspinauts event if you are ever given the chance. I say event because they are so much more than just a band playing music, each of your five senses will be buzzing before the end of the first song, and by the end of the show, you’ll be definitely Aspi-fied.”

Heidi Everett


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