Honouring A Musical Legend
Carole King is without doubt one of the most influential songwriters and performers of the 20th century. The list of performers who sang her songs are a veritable who’s-who of the era including The Shirelles, The Monkees, The Beatles and Aretha Franklin. And the list of hits she had on her own accord as a performer have lasted well into this century. Nikki Nicholls, who has spent a career backing up some of the biggest Australian and international acts, stepped out into the spotlight last night to remind the audience of Carole King lovers why this woman changed the face of music.
You’ve Got A Friend: The Songs and Story of Carole King took the audience on a journey through some of the biggest hits of her own career and a series of hits she had written for other artists. The night began with a stripped back interpretation of the title track from the album which launched King’s career, Tapestry before stepping up a gear into the crowd favourite ‘Where You Lead’ as Nikki Nicholls was joined on stage by her entire band of industry stalwarts.
Highlights of the night included her performance of ‘Chains’, ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ and one of her best known songs ‘Natural Woman’ which was performed with a video of Carole singing this incredible song alongside Nikki. The night hit full flight during the performances of the rock infused numbers as Nikki displayed her deft vocal control with her own powerful take on these classic songs – even getting the clearly impressed audience to their feet during ‘Locomotion’ before losing her own shoe on stage and recovering with deft comic timing.
Supporting Nikki throughout this journey was a rocking band made up of members who have accompanied everyone from Kylie Minogue to Air Supply. Handing the spotlight over to some of these incredible musicians, Nikki left Steve Wade on stage to bring to life another period of Carole King’s life – the influence of James Taylor – performing some of his most loved songs including ‘How Sweet It Is’ and ‘Carolina On My Mind’.
You’ve Got A Friend explored the beautiful tapestry that is Carole King’s life, and rather than simply rolling out these old classics, the arrangements performed by Nikki Nicholls added a fresh new take to these songs in an entertaining night honoring an unmatched music legend!