Amanda Diaz

Megan Washington is not what you expect. Her voice conjures up an image of a Kate Miller Heidke type. Blond, sweet faced with a penchant for vintage dresses. Washington’s oversized glasses and dark crop couldn’t be further from this. Perhaps that’s what makes her special. It’s not just any artist that can appeal to a crowd that ranges from arts students clad in tight jeans and trendy frames to startling hip pensioners.

To use words like “kooky” or “eclectic” would make her seem contrived. She is who she is and at only 24, that’s something to be celebrated. When she banters with her band (who clearly adore her) and chats to the audience, she is unguarded and charmingly self-effacing. Explaining the story behind a song called “The Belly of the Whale”, it was as though you alone had become her confidante. She is the cool older sister or the best friend you always wanted to be like. Smart, vivacious, a little dorky and a little dark.

Her songs flourish in front of an audience, taking on a life of their own. (Although one gets the feeling that Washington would play with the same unrestrained gusto if she was alone.) “How to tame Lions” is full of optimism and wistful longing. “Sunday Best”, “1997” and “Rich Kids” are infectious, the blacker undertones of the songs only enhancing what there was to be joyful about. The Manning Bar crowd were unselfconscious in their appreciation- and a little surprised by this. Even the surliest looking men could not seem to stop themselves from swaying. It was impossible not to be drawn in when those on stage seemed to be having so much fun. During an encore performance of “I touch myself”, everyone in the venue seemed to unite to embrace the cringeworthy nature of the song.

When the lights came on and the number of empty cups on the floor were revealed, there seemed to be a mutual understanding of the experience. To witness what she is now is to be awed by the possibility of the future. We who were there had her all to ourselves, but it won’t be long before our secret is discovered. To keep her hidden would be selfish.

Amanda Diaz


One Response to “Washington”


  1. Tweets that mention Washington Review « The Shelf -- Topsy.com - September 12, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Manda Diaz, the shelf. the shelf said: Posted: Review of @WASHINGTONx's September 10 show at Manning Bar http://bit.ly/9281iw […]

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