Cat Power

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Cat Power

When I reach Chan Marshall on the phone from her home in Atlanta, Georgia, the world is slowly learning of the death of David Bowie, with his legions of fans worldwide going into both shock and mourning. It seemed hauntingly apt, Marshall’s mother was a huge fan of Bowie. She adored him. There was no greater influence on her life. This adoration was something that Marshall inherited from her mother.

“You’re the only person that knows that,” she laughs slightly mystified at my knowledge of her mother’s infatuation with Bowie. “I don’t know how you found that out. I was always quite moved by that record [The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars]. It came out when I was born, so I didn’t really understand it until when I was a teenager when I was given it from my mother. He was all over the place when I was growing up. There were a lot of uncool things in the ’80s, and a lot of really cool things. He was one of the really cool things. He was a game-changer. I was young so I didn’t quite understand the artistic directions he was presenting at the time. When I was recently asked that question ‘If you were to take one record to a deserted island what it would it be?’ I always thought to myself ‘Oh, it’d be Ziggy Stardust’.”

While the Starman had a great effect on Chan, she’s come to terms with the mortality of her inspirations. Most notably now that of Bob Dylan, who she refers to as God Dylan.

“When I was younger I lost a lot of friends,” she notes. “A lot of my friends died: two to AIDs, four overdoses, three suicides and others to illnesses and accidents. It’s what happens after losing so many people that you love. When it happens to you once, the first time, it’s devastating. By the 20th time you understand quite well that one day your heroes are going to dead. So will your best friend. So will you.”

A regular on Australian shores, since the release of her last studio album Sun in 2012, in 2013 Marshall co-headlined Golden Plains and performed three shows at The Forum in full-band mode, before returning in 2014 for four nights in solo mode at the Thornbury Theatre.

This time around she’ll be bringing her fragile-yet-enigmatic live performance for two intimate solo shows at the Melbourne Recital Centre, where fans can expect to hear beloved classics and a smattering of new material.

“Probably a quarter of the songs that I’ll be playing people will never have heard,” she shares.

“Half of them people have heard but they’ve never been recorded, and the rest people have heard all I have released. I like to play a lot of songs that people have never heard when I tour before I go and record them. That’s the way I’ve always done it.”

Written by Tyson Wray

Unfortunately the planned tour has had to be postponed due to illness however we expect new dates to be announced at some stage soon.