Review: Kaurna Cronin's Farewell Show at The Grace Emily

Words by Oliver Marshall
Photos by Morgan Sette

The Grace Emily played host to an intimate farewell gig for Adelaide music scene stalwart Kaurna Cronin and his band before they jet off for a 100-date, 4-month European tour.

The night was kicked off brilliantly by folk singer-songwriter Ryan Martin John and his falsetto tones. Perhaps the highlight of his set was a song called ‘Man on Fire’ that Ryan admits was written a bit prematurely about Trump losing the election, which he was so sure was going to happen. The Donald may have won, but for the length of the song the whole audience could pretend that everything was ok and Trump as President was just a bad dream.

Next up was Kelly Menhenett whose soulful, sultry tones had everybody toe tapping and one very young fan dancing joyfully at the front, much to the delight of Kelly.  Menhenett ended the set with her powerhouse and emotive track ‘Cannonball’, which was the perfect lead in for Kaurna Cronin & Band.

The main performance by Kaurna Cronin and his band would be their final Adelaide show before heading to Europe next week, and they were keen to treat the crowd to new songs off their upcoming record Euphoria, Delirium & Loneliness. The four-piece band featured a double bass made for a point of difference from the previous two excellent solo acts. What shone through the most from the set was Cronin’s incredible songwriting ability. Each song had a story, one that he was more than happy to give background on in-between tunes, which added another dimension to his show.  A song that really stood out was 'Then I met New York' from the forthcoming album, a love song about falling in love only to move on very quickly - but it’s not about a person, rather about a city, New York. He explains he went to America, fell in love with LA, only to realise later that New York was the place for him.

Cronin even decided to sing this track at the edge of the stage without the aid of any mics or amps to add to the intimacy of the show.

Kaurna’s folk stylings mixed with a healthy dose of soul and bluegrass, paired with his emotive voice, was able to make you both happy and then pensive in the same song. His distinct Australian tones and clever story telling of suburban life and adventures of Australians travelling abroad, not to mention a Christmas song called ‘Pavlova’, make comparisons to Paul Kelly easy, however his style remains completely individual.

The band were extremely tight and another dimension to the performance. New and old tunes featured, with the new songs being received extremely well by the crowd. Cronin’s captivating stage presence paired with the way he talked to the audience made it feel like you were listening to an old friend - he's sure to take Europe by storm.