SIA- Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh 28/11/2007

Six massive glowing smiling faces skip onto a small stage somewhere underneath Edinburgh. As UV light radiates around the room, and bounces off the cute cartoon costumes the band is wearing, it becomes clear that this is not going to be any ordinary show as they launch into the bouncy joy that is "Buttons". The smallest character stage centre, the one with the biggest and most unique voice you may ever hear, pulls off her mask to reveal an impish grin and giggles. Confirming yet further that Sia Furler AKA Sia AKA the blonde bird who sings with Zero 7 is absolutely wonderful.

Behind her, huge neon flowers sparkle as beautiful cello arrangements of earlier tracks (she thinks everyone is holding out for "Breathe me") are followed by some equally as stunning new material from latest album "Some people have REAL problems". Still a soulful, ambient mistress, she claims that her former record company, Island, dropped her because they didn't want her new poppy sound to upset the fans ("What fans?", she quips) but the audience embraces her cheeky enthusiasm as if they have been waiting so long for this moment. That's not to say that when her voice soars into the microphone on the incredible "Day too soon" and "Sunday" that the whole room doesn't hold it's breath, but this is the beginning of a new era and Sia definitely has the charisma to go the distance. I, for one, love that she can go from singing a hugely melodramatic song to introducing her band with hilarious anecdotes of how they slept together about ten years ago and inviting the entire room to the pub afterwards. Here is someone who takes herself completely seriously creatively but whose warmth and down-to-Earth nature ensures that she is one of the most entertaining, if a little mental, acts you could have the pleasure of seeing this year. Don't miss out now. It is also extremely worth it for the heart-rending version of "Distractions" which completes the encore for tonight. Soak it up whilst making eyes at the extremely hot keyboard man named Brian.

Thanks to Claire from Hall or Nothing for a fantastic evening.

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