Sia - TV is My Parent

"I hope none of you did mushrooms before you got here!" exclaims Sia Furler to a sold-out crowd gathered at New York's Hiro Ballroom. Considering the house lights are off and she and her band are wearing glow-in-the-dark smiley faces, while surrounded by eight foot UV flowers, perhaps that warning is a bit late. Thankfully, for any consumers of halluciogens, this crazy get-up is reserved solely for opener Buttons - however, what follows is still a satisfyingly topsy-turvy experience and, one suspects, merely a glimpse into this gal's crazy world.

Dressed in a cute blue dolly dress for the rest of the show, Sia performs songs from 2008's word-of-mouth success Some People Have Real Problems and its predecessor Colour the Small One. Of course, to most people she will still be most recognisable as the voice behind Zero 7 tracks Destiny and Distractions, both performed here with aplomb. While her vocal prowess was suited to chillout bliss, this DVD acts more as a showcase for her charmingly off-centre pop. Although Beck-less unlike on the album, Academia is breathless pop matched only by The Girl You Lost to Cocaine's ballsy chorus. When she's not proving an alternative to dire pop princesses, she's doing vocal somersaults Mariah might envy on the divine Breathe Me, Lentil and a host of showstopping ballads, even joined by a precious schoolgirl on Little Black Sandals.

Although she's got white girl soul credentials to match the patience-trying Winehouse, based on this evidence it would be worth the price of gig entry just for Sia's amusing between-song banter. Matching her frequently cartoonish music is a brassy personality who, when not bigging up her male band members' penis size, is pulling teeth from the confines of her bra. On the extras front, a series of short vignettes give us a further peek into this kooky lady's world, including footage of her 'backstage at Starbucks', schmoozing with Har Mar Superstar and being mobbed by fans at SXSW. Also included, aside from the sufficiently barmy - and Youtube smash - promo for Buttons, are another three music videos that mark Sia out as one of the few artists out there today who still approach the medium as an art in itself. Kudos to both her and the directors for these peculiar and worthwhile visions, rounding out an above average DVD package of a not-the-norm star.



out of 10

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