Live at the Sydney Festival

Tonight, his slight frame surrounded by the twinkling backdrop of the Famous Spiegel Tent for the opening night of the Sydney Festival, Andrew Bird was jet lagged.

So there was some flailing and floundering, especially during the chorus of his catchy crowd pleaser Nervous Tic To The Left…but his wobblyness did not hinder his charm. A charismatic performer, with the silky smooth voice of a rat pack crooner, he creates a collage of sounds, looping violin, guitar and that other-worldly whistle.

Like a canary in a cage he trills effortlessly, sweetly, and long. But while the thread of Birds’ undulating soundscape swoops and layers, it does occasionally dwindle and stutter, tying itself in knots like his tired brain seemed to be when attempting to remember his own lyrics.

Enchanting stories of chickens kept us going, and even as he looked more dishevelled towards the end the crowd whooped for an unrequited encore.

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