It’s hard to believe, well not, really, that folk-pop duo Killing Heidi formed by siblings Ella and Jesse Hooper have kept this band going since 1996. Formed in Violet Town, Victoria this much loved band have enjoyed all the spoils of a stellar career with top twenty singles, ARIA and APRA awards before slowing things down and disbanding in 2006 to pursue their Fleetwood Mac inspired band The Verses. The love for Killing Heidi is so strong that both Ella and Jesse could no longer resist but announce a tour after enjoying some reunion shows earlier this year.
The Gov was sold out and there certainly was a huge buzz in anticipation for Killing Heidi and hearing these songs again that were so important to so many people. What was great to watch was how much the Killing Heidi collective enjoyed playing together still on a major high after playing their first show in Perth the night before. Opening the night was Calm Down off their self-titled album which was followed by a big ‘oh yeah’ at the end by Ella. Ella went on to say that she didn’t want to bore the crowd with thank yous but couldn’t thank the fans enough.
Next it was Outside Of Me with Ella commenting after that she stopped drinking before the show so the stories might get a little weirder and that distance makes the heart grow fonder suggesting that she missed doing the Killing Heidi thing. Real People off Reflector made her feel sixteen again as she danced around the stage with endless energy. The crowd went nuts for Heavensent and Ella talked about their first shows reuniting and how it was about testing the waters again and were literally ‘shitting bricks’ before their set at Handpicked Festival in South Australia last year.
Kettle was one of those golden moments stripping it back in acoustic mode starting this timeline journey to where it all began playing this songs at a local fete where it was two dollars to get in. As Ella remarked how could this folk grunge duo singing songs about dying make it but somehow it worked after sending an entry to Triple J Unearthed. The key message is putting yourself out there as everything is possible. Astral Boy was great to with those strong ties to ‘folk grunge’ as Ella put it and also reflecting that the riff was the most beautiful thing she had heard.
Black Sheep was a bit of a flashback and a reference to back up the hill where they grew up. They snuck a song from The Verses back catalogue Want Everything which was heavy inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Another big single from Reflector by way of Live Without It sent the fans nuts again. Ella said that they always had fun in Adelaide and that there was always mischief to be had. Interestingly, Classroom Celebrities drew that punk influence with Ella commenting that she’s no longer fifteen anymore trying to do these punk songs.
With Mascara it was getting close to the end and the poignant comment that Killing Heidi is a band for the misfits and people who don’t fit and that they were glad to be your band and a part of your stories. Weir was an epic set closer and the band had the fans on toast who were lapping it up for one last time. Returning for an encore Jesse said that if they were going to play a show every ten years that they better play some more finishing with Leave Me Alone and Superman/Supergirl. We can only hope that this isn’t the end as there is still plenty of love for Killing Heidi to play more shows particularly in Adelaide (which coincidentally was the first sold out show on the tour).
Review by Rob Lyon