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George


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Sometimes dramatic altpop, sometimes sweet mainstream pop. Mostly pretty easy listening.

Status:

Most recent release, Unity (2004); band is currently on hiatus and members are involved in other projects

See also:

George's site

Wikipedia's entry on George

George's MySpace page

Comparisons:

Katie Noonan's voice really reminds me of Eddie Reader's and Katerina Frank (Rainbirds), while her brother's reminds me a little of Jeff Buckley and the male singer from the Dirty Projectors.

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers

General comments:

Katie Noonan's been around for quite a while, she first came to our attention as a singer for a Brisbane band, George. To be more precise, as one of two singers—the other one was her brother, and they split the lead vocal duties. I always thought George would be so much better if only Tyrone (her brother) would shut up, because as far as I was concerned, it was her voice that made them interesting.
     In any case, George went on to achieve reasonable degree of commercial success. Their best known (and quite possibly their best) song was 'Special Ones.'
     Katie has one of those 'jazzy' voices. I guess her voice and style could be compared with the likes of Norah Jones or Katie Melua, though I think she's a bit more interesting and not quite as commercial as they are but we're talking about similar style—basically, easy listening. Smooth as a well-worn pebble and not a bit of angst to be found anywhere. On 'Special ones' she sung 'I don't want to be angry...' and I guess she meant it :)
     She does have a wonderful voice... (afries@zip.com.au)

Recommended first album:

Polyserena

Recordings:


Polyserena

Release info:

2002—Mushroom Records—334862

Availability:

Wide in Australia; can be found as an import elsewhere or ordered from George's site

Ecto priority:

Highly, highly recommended

Group members:

Katie Noonan—vocals, backing vocals, keys, percussion, horn arrangement
Tyrone Noonan—vocals, backing vocals, keys, guitars, horn arrangement
Nick Stewart—guitars
Paulie B—bass, guitars, percussion, backing vocals
Goeff Green—drums, percussion, marimba

Guest artists:

Bess-Serena—backing vocals (8)
Isaac Hurren—tenor sax
Phil Noy—alto and soprano sax
Sean Rankin—trumpet, flugelhorn
Carl Harvoe—trumpet, flugelhorn
Jenny Newlands—flute
Alexis Kenny—flute, alto flute
Ysolt Clarke—French horn
Oliver Redfern, Liza Wilcock—French horns (3)
Jo Lacke—1st violin
Liz Elliott—2nd violin
Rhylla Mitchell—viola
Ben Tolliday—cello

Produced by:

David Nicholas with George

Comments:

While some of this pushes the limits of my pretty pop tolerance, some of this is so magnificent it overrides that. How could I resist somethng that starts with a track as gorgeous and powerful as "Release"? And ends with something that equals it, like "Spawn"? I even really like two track with male lead vocals: "Bastard Son" and "That's When you Come to Me". While there are a few tracks I skip over as either too sweet or just not so strongly interesting, as a whole the good stuff here is amazing. Katie Noonan is a wow: her vocals are glorious and passionate. (Neile)

Unity

Release info:

2004—Warner (Australia)

Availability:

Wide in Australia; can be found as an import elsewhere or ordered from George's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Katie Noonan—vocals, keys, theremin
Tyrone Noonan—vocals, keys, guitars, accordion, Kaoss
Nick Stewart—guitars, mandolin
Paulie B—bass, guitars, percussion
Geoff Green—drums, percussion, tuned percussion

Guest artists:

John Hoffman—trumpet
Michael Rogers—trumpet
Ashley Lewis—trombone
Elliott Dalgleish—baritone sax, sopranino sax
Isaac Hurren—tonor sax
Phil Noy—alto sax
From The Queensland Orchestra:
     Warwick Adeney (concert master), Rachel Smith, Ann Holtzapffel, Wayne Brennan, Faina Aegerter, Simon Dobrenko—violin 1
     Gail Aitken, Roland Adeney, Nicola Manson, Margaret Connolly, Stephen Phillips, Christina Powell—violin 2
     Bernard Hoey, Fiona Lale, Graham Simpson, Helen Poggioli—viola
     John Fardon, Dushan Walkowics—bass
     Patrick Nolan—flute
     Janine Grantham—flute, piccolo
     Duncan Nolan—oboe, coranglais
     Sarah Meagher—oboe
     Nick Murphy, Brian Catchlove—clarinet
     Nicle Tait, Hugh Ponnuthurai—bassoon
     Ian O'Brien, Jan Keay, Kylee Bell, Andrew Kopittke—French Horn
     Jason Rawson—trumpet, D trumpet
     Malcolm Liddell, John Gould—trumpet
     Jason Redman, David Robins—trombone
     Tom Coyle—bass Trombone
     Jill Atkinson—harp
     Andrew Knox—timpani

Produced by:

David Nicholas with George

Comments:

While I love Katie Noonan's vocals—her voice is an amazing instrument—this album is just a little too easy listening/mainstream pop/pretty for my tastes. Sadly, I just don't really like the band's style here, though I do like to hear Kate Noonan's voice (and I kind of like Tyrone's, too). Those with more tolerance for mainstream pop would love love LOVE this album, believe me. That voice! (Neile)

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