Vikki Thorn and the Red Tails
Review: Kellie Balaam
Vikki Thorn returned to the stage in Albany last Saturday night singing lockdown tunes with her newly formed trio, Vikki Thorn and the Red Tails.
The Kalenyup Studio at the Albany Entertainment Centre was crowded as local music lovers came to see one of the city’s biggest talents in action.
At the height of COVID-19 restrictions in WA, The Waifs’ Thorn hunkered down at her house in Torbay after a cancelled US tour.
She found solace creating music with her neighbours Simon and Tammy London.
Kicking off at 7.30pm, the trio entered the studio looking excited and ready to bring their work to the stage.
Thorn was flanked by Simon on acoustic guitar and vocal powerhouse Tammy.
Simon is a renowned songwriter who fronts Simon London & The Spirits, a group which has released three albums and toured throughout the US and Australia.
His wife Tammy grew up singing hymns as the daughter of a travelling preacher and found her passion in writing and singing country soul music.
To start the night off, Vikki Thorn and the Red Tails began with their song Highway State of Mind.
Following that was a song written by Tammy called Farmer’s Wife, which is all about her nan moving from New York to a small town near Bruce Rock and marrying a farmer.
Next up was another original song, Crossroads, a dreamy ballad that was written in the north of WA among the red dirt and dust.
The singer- songwriters’ blend of powerful voices created big soul harmonies over songs deeply rooted in WA history and stories.
Between tunes, Thorn talked about writing together and how it was a natural progression in light of the friendship between the artists and the situation they found themselves in.
Tammy switched things up by jumping on the piano to play the song Hope and Pray.
Her captivating voice had the entire room transfixed as she bellowed the lyrics, accompanied by her gentle piano playing.
A song by The Waifs got some time in the spotlight, with Thorn explaining the track Sun Dirt Water was written after meeting her husband.
The on-stage chemistry between the three musicians was entertaining to watch as they all vibed with each other and showed off their dance moves.
Talented guitarist though she is, Thorn was an absolute stand-out on the harmonica.
I’ve never seen anyone professionally play the instrument, and I was amazed at how seamlessly she created her melodies.
The band rolled out folk tunes until 10pm, but it was clear the audience could not get enough of the upbeat and down-to-earth personas of Vikki Thorn and the Red Tails.