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The Rock-itt : October 2010
On Monday September 13, a genuine new star was launched into the music firmament before a capacity crowd at Collaroy Theatre on Sydney's northern beaches. The iconic 'Beaches' venue was the ideal setting for teenage newcomer Ella Freestone and for the enthusiastic crowd of more than 250 people who turned up on this early week night to witness what was essentially the singer/song writer's live debut... and Ella delivered a stunningly diverse and impressively mature performance. Supported by a full band of emerging musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium as well as seasoned session guitarist Tom Ferris, Ella sang original songs from her self-titled debut album, produced and recorded at Dee Why's Meshach Musik. Meschach's Erana Clark (vocal director for Australian Idol and now X-Factor) emceed the event. She's worked with Ella as her vocal coach and was blown away by the teenager's performance on the night. "For someone so young, Ella creates such beautifully crafted and honest songs... melodies that are fresh and brave. She's not afraid to be who she is. It's been a delight working with Ella. This is a simply awesome debut album", said Erana. The show began with the theatre in total darkness, which slowly filled with Ella's solo voice singing a haunting accapella version of the Negro spiritual, Motherless Child. It was the perfect showcase of the teenager's unique vocal ability. When the stage lit up, Ella and her band then turned out a classic pop song, Threading Beads, which would sit comfortably in any play list on commercial radio. What most impressed the audience was Ella's capacity to present such an eclectic mix of music genres, calling to mind the enigmatic displays of 90s vocal sensation Eva Cassidy. She moved effortlessly and confidently between original pop tracks like Threading Beads and Just Maybe to country pop/folk via offerings such as Lemon Tree and Oxygen... but then found incredible sophistication and musical polish to deliver tracks like Painted Gold and Find My Feet Again, which simply defy obvious classification. The energy in the room was palpable as the band ably supplied the engine for Ella and accomplished backing singer Ashleigh Ellen Leef. But the highlight of the performance was undoubtedly Ella's oh so confident performance of her two standout solo ballads, Dove in a Cage and The Sea, both of which were accompanied only by a single guitar. Review by Dave Keogh from Perfect Pitch Photos by DaveTozer.com.au For more photos of this event look up Dave Tozer on facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1654541530