Duffy brings pop to the big stage
by Noel Mengel, CouriermailHIGH heels and mini skirts aren't usually associated with popular music festivals, but if anyone can pull off such a look it's Duffy.
The Welsh singer making her first Australian tour, is changing a lot of preconceptions about what pop music can do in 2009.
She charmed the audience in her afternoon set at the V Festival on the Gold Coast yesterday, ripping through an hour of songs built from the time-tested virtues of great songwriting, powerful singing and charismatic performance.
Duffy dresses like no one else at the festival, except for the twins who are the backing singers in her band.
With the short skirts and beehive hair, Duffy looks like she's just arrived from Swinging London circa 1967.
Her music also has that flavour, in the tradition of great British singers such as Dusty Springfield.
Duffy feels comfortable in Australia. Pre-fame, she came on holiday to visit her sisters who were backpacking here.
"Australia is the last place I get any peace," she said in an interview after her set.
"It's relatively calm when I walk down the street and that's refreshing."
But her days of anonymity here are numbered, judging by the response to songs such as Warwick Avenue, Stepping Stone and Mercy.
The V Festival, in its third year, has a more laidback atmosphere than the Big Day Out.
A crowd of about 15,000 people enjoyed a line-up including Snow Patrol, The Killers and Madness.
A clip of "Stay with me Baby":