Culture: Singer out on her own

International star: Australian indie artist Kate Miller-Heidke will premier songs from new album O Vertigo! and some old favourites at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

International star: Australian indie artist Kate Miller-Heidke will premier songs from new album O Vertigo! and some old favourites at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

Fresh from her "unforgettable and magical" performance at the Sydney Opera House for Vivid LIVE, Kate Miller-Heidke is making her way to The Joan in August.

The show is part of her national tour to promote her fourth album O Vertigo! — her first independent release — which had a top 5 debut on the ARIA album chart in March.

Loyal fans funded the album in February through PledgeMusic in a record-breaking three days after she announced her independence by leaving the "corporate juggernaut that is Sony Music".

"Sort of like Bert Newton since he left Channel 10," she joked.

Miller-Heidke said she wanted to exploit the range and dynamics of her voice in O Vertigo!

"For me, this record is about asserting myself and making my own choices," she said. "It might alienate some people, but this album is about focusing on where my strengths lie."

The album was described as being in the "experimental Kate Bush/Bjork territory — with a splash of early Madonna thrown in".

She is touring with long-term collaborator Keir Nuttall on guitar and John Rodgers on violin and piano.

“I feel like live performance has always been at the heart of what I do,” Miller-Heidke said.

“Often the test of a good song is if it works in a very stripped-back, acoustic mode and I love reinventing the songs in this way.

‘‘I'm looking forward to bringing the new songs, as well as a mixture of older stuff, out far beyond the capital cities, especially places I've never played before”.

Kate Miller-Heidke’s last Sydney show is on August 16, 8pm, at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (597 High Street, Penrith). Tickets are on sale now for $59. Bookings: 4723 7600.

Also coming up at The Joan:

■ Theatre: The Gruffalo, July 7 and 8. Mouse scares hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when she comes face to face with the very creature she imagined? Based on the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the play is suitable for children aged 3 and up. Tickets from $18.

■ Theatre:Food, July 17 to 19. Two sisters run their family takeaway joint on a stretch of Australian highway, until a young  Turkish traveller arrives with a charm and sensuality that turns their world around. It’s a co-production of Force Majeure, a ground-breaker in dance theatre, and the Belvoir theatre company. Tickets from $34.

Music:The Spooky Men’s Chorale, July 20. Inspired by the great Georgian male choirs and formed in the Blue Mountains in 2001, The Spooky Men’s Chorale combines vocal expertise and maverick abandon. They will bring their deadpan style and warm sound to the performance of their latest album The Spooky Man in History. Tickets from $27.

Music:I Love a Piano, July 23. A tribute to the music of Liberace featuring flamboyant Australian pianist Jon Darsk and special guest Jennifer Gray. The 90-minute show is in the Richard Bonynge Concert Hall, with morning tea beforehand. Tickets are $20.

Music: Alexey Yemtsov, July 26. Ukraine-born pianist Alexey Yemtsov is a regular soloist with symphony orchestras around Australia. He will perform works by Chopin and  Prokofiev. Tickets from $28.

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