The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Mia Dyson Live Australia Perth January 2013





Yes, we are cheating a little with this review but I guess that’s our prerogative. Whilst most of the audience this evening seemed to be here for the two headline acts Wendy Matthews and Katie Noonan, The Rockpit made its way out to the beautiful setting of the Mundaring Weir Hotel to check out the two opening acts: Toby Beard and the wonderful Mia Dyson.



For those that aren’t in the know Mia Dyson is a wonderful Australian artist whose bluesy fourth album ‘The Moment’ rated very highly at Rockpit HQ last year and despite all our efforts to see her earlier in the year tonight will probably be our last chance before she heads off back to the US where she is now based.



Opening act Toby Beard has a great earthy voice and a fine sense for a good song and she is hard to take your eyes off as she belts out everything from songs in French to what amounts to traditional rock culminating in a declaration that it ‘smells like sex in here’ at the start of her pivotal closing song ‘Breathe’ which really does take her to unexpected levels of emotion and complexity. If you get a chance to check her out live in and around Fremantle you really should make the effort as on the basis of this evening you will be in for a treat.



It’s nice to get a chance to talk to Mia before her set, which sees her without the luxury of a backing band tonight and in a way it makes the songs, especially those from her latest album ‘The Moment’ a little rawer without diminishing the power they carry.
Opening with ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Pistol’ two of the standouts from her latest gets the crowd immediately interested, and ‘Pistol’ especially acoustically is beautiful and touching.



Mia’s song about falling out “I meant something to you once” that ensues really shows how powerful a voice she has, a little too smooth for Joplin but with equal amounts of character, and alone on stage with just her guitar its immediately clear how powerful she is as a performer. A storyteller on a stage singing about life whether it’s the beautiful “Sweet Struggle”  or the truly touching “Jesse” which covers such  a powerful and emotive subject, it’s a privilege to hear it so raw here under the fading sun in the tree lined amphitheatre.



Delving further back into her catalogue there's an almost Status Quo-like  riff to one of her songs before we hear “People turn on you” : the soundtrack to the sun going down.  Mia’s song for her mother “Rivers Wide” gets and ‘aah’ from the crowd and has a great stuttering bluesy riff; and the up-tempo Lucinda Williams cover “Can’t Let Go” with its nice ranging guitar solo, wins a healthy round of applause: and Williams like Bonnie Riatt and Bruce Springsteen are all there in Mia’s voice.



It’s perhaps the last two songs though that win me over completely: the intro to “When the Moment Comes” works beautifully on just guitar and Mia displays such power and raw emotion the song is elevated to another level; and we close with “Roll me out”: a prison love song for the ladies. You need to see Dyson live when you next get the chance. Great songs, a wonderful voice and someone surely going places.




all words and photos by Mark Diggins