What a sublime and unique voice Toni Childs has.
Backed by a tight five-piece band, Childs adapted her show to suit the intimate surrounds of the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. Casually filling up a cup of tea from a flask she brings on stage, regularly sitting at the front of the stage with her guitarist and telling personal tales of the creation of her songs before belting them out.
This might not work in a bigger venue or a sweaty pub, but here it did. Childs tells the audience on multiple occasions how grateful she is for the career they have afforded her, and she repays us with stunning versions of songs spanning her long career.
Where's the Ocean seems more beautiful than when I first heard it, perhaps the years in her voice since it was first recorded have added something to an already emotional song. Like Angels gets a gentle sway going amongst the audience.
Got to Go Now had the crowd cheering and Dreamer brings some deep down emotions from Childs and she struggles to sing the first verse and chorus. You know there is some love in the room tonight though because when a member of the crowd from the front row brings her a tissue to wipe her tears she sings the rest of the song beautifully, it's as if she gained some strength from the caring gesture.
Stop Your Fussing gets the crowd grooving along with Childs, and the finale of Many Rivers to Cross is a perfect way to end the evening.
Childs has a voice full of power, and it is an impressive instrument to behold.