Secretive Australian songstress Sia returns to her home ground this week as part of her world-conquering Nostalgic For The Present tour.
Who is she? Born in Adelaide, Sia started out as an acid jazz singer, before sliding into making quirky pop records. She hit the big time after she started writing for other performers and French DJ David Guetta used her demo of Titanium. Her next two albums were mainstream hits across the globe.
Why can’t I see her face? Sia retired from performing in 2010. Although she’s since returned to the stage, she’s big on anonymity. Live, she stands motionless with her face concealed while a dancer performs on her behalf.
Have I seen her somewhere? You might not have seen her face, but Sia recently trolled internet hackers by releasing the nude photo they were using to blackmail her. Talk about turning the other cheek.
One song I should hear before the gig. Breakthrough single Chandelier from 1000 Forms of Fear finds exhilaration in self-destruction – three minutes of searing power-pop that showcases Sia’s extraordinary vocal range.
Gig \ Paul McCartney
AAMI Park, December 5 & 6, from $70.25,
We’re being spoiled for the big gigs this month, and you don’t get much bigger than a Beatle. You mightn’t have noticed, but Paul’s most recent album was actually pretty great. Still, it’s safe to say most of us are here for the oldies. At 74, Macca works as hard as ever, playing marathon sets of Beatles and solo hits.
Film \ Goodbye Christopher Robin
In cinemas now, Rated PG,
There’s stiff upper lips aplenty in this moving drama about the creation of everyone’s favourite bear. Playwright A.A. Milne (Domnhall Gleeson) returns from the war unable to pen any more comedies. His son inspires him to capture the joy of childhood, but success wreaks a bitter toll.
Music \ U2 Songs of Experience
Out December 1 through Universal
Most people haven’t forgiven U2 for foisting their last album onto our iPhones. The outrage drowned out some strong songs. A few duff tracks aside, the new LP is even better. Stealing back from the likes of Coldplay and the Killers, it’s not so much groundbreaking as a fine work of self-tribute.
Ballet \ Coppelia
Arts Centre Melbourne, December 8 & 9, from $35
Ballet’s future meets its golden age past as The Australian Ballet School stages Dame Peggy van Praagh’s enchanting production of Coppelia. The story is a fairytale delight, free of the tragic nastiness of your Swan Lakes and Giselles, and carried by sumptuous costumes and a jaunty score.