Gretta Ray + Al Parkinson + Nancie Schipper @ Corner Hotel 16-08-18
words: Megan Henderson // photos: @rcstills
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'...Gretta oozes the confidence and flair of someone well beyond her years.'

I enter an already half-full Corner Hotel on Thursday night to be greeted by the sweet
vocals of the first support artist, Nancie Schipper. I can tell I'm going to be in for a
great night of music, purely based on how receptive and supportive the crowd is for
Nancie's set.

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After a short break, the crowd is treated to another wonderfully talented female artist
by the name of Al Parkinson. Al introduces herself with an angelic acappella performance that has the crowd so captivated you can hear a pin drop.

She then brings out three accompanying singers who she refers to as "the babes" (and rightly so!). The Corner Hotel is now 90% full, and Al's natural charisma has the crowd
laughing and cheering; setting the perfect mood for the anticipation of headliner,
Gretta Ray.

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The lights dim and the sold out crowd warmly welcomes Gretta’s band on stage.
They play a whimsical instrumental shortly before Gretta dances out onto the stage
sporting a beaming smile and a v. trendy strapless pink jumpsuit. She opens her set
with "When We're In Fitzroy" from her recently released album, 'Here and Now'.

Taken aback by the overwhelming love from her adoring fans,
Gretta sweetly greets the crowd before jumping straight into "Towers",
which she accompanies with graceful dance moves, giving her an angelic stage presence. 

As we progress through the set, Gretta takes a few moments to chat to the crowd,
telling us about the whirlwind the past 2 years have been for her since winning the
Triple J Unearthed High competition in 2016. Having only recently finished high
school, Gretta oozes the confidence and flair of someone well beyond her years. She
has a captivating way of story telling through her vocal tones and lyrical tempo, which
translates really nicely through her live performance.

Gretta plays through the rest of her debut album, trading her guitar for a keyboard for
a few tracks, and it's not long before the crowd finally gets to hear one of the
anticipated singles from Here and Now, titled "Time". This is without a doubt the
crowd favourite of the night, as it comes with an overwhelmingly loud sing-along,
which brings everyone together for one last shared moment with Gretta before she
draws the set to a close and exits the stage. However, it's not long until she and her
band come back onto stage for an encore, much to the pleasure of her fans.

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There's definitely a few Gretta Ray fan clubs in the crowd tonight, and I'm lucky
enough to be standing next to one; Gretta's fans sing back every single word of
encore track "Unexpected Feeling" with so much spirit and passion that one of the
girls actually apologises to me (no need to apologise for having the time of your life!) 
Being the first show of the tour, and playing to a sold out crowd, Gretta Ray is set for
an unforgettable tour, and if the crowds are anything like they were at The Corner
Hotel, she can expect to receive more love and support than ever before.