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Breathe in again: george dazzles 20 years on at QPAC, Brisbane | One Herald
Home / Health / Breathe in again: george dazzles 20 years on at QPAC, Brisbane

Breathe in again: george dazzles 20 years on at QPAC, Brisbane


I can still so clearly remember the first time I heard Breathe In Now, george’s break out hit.

It wasn’t a seminal life-changing moment, it wasn’t even enormously interesting. I only remember it because of that song.

Katie Noonan in a 2016 shoot for a recent project.
Katie Noonan in a 2016 shoot for a recent project.  Photo: Supplied

A chunk of my youth played out to a soundtrack of george music, so it was with some trepidation that I entered the QPAC concert hall for their 20th anniversary reunion show.

Katie Noonan has gone from strength to strength in her career and I have loved everything she has done and her brother Tyrone has reinvented himself and his sound so many times it is hard to keep up.

Back in the day... george members Katie Noonan and brother Tyrone Noonan, far right, with Nick Stewart, Paulie Bromley ...
Back in the day… george members Katie Noonan and brother Tyrone Noonan, far right, with Nick Stewart, Paulie Bromley and Geoff Green. 

But could they, and the band who joins them, possibly live up to the rose coloured headphones that I have for the music of my youth? The answer is very much yes.

The benefit of having not played together for years, of not really revisiting the music as soloists, of really putting the whole project to bed, is that they have each matured enormously as musicians and can now bring back that wealth of experience and knowledge to songs they wrote in their youth.

Special Ones, about an angry, angst-filled relationship certainly has one meaning when you are a teenager and a very different meaning when you are… older.

Release, written by Katie on an island in the early 2000s, certainly feels different when you have had to release on another day a few more times than you had back then.

But more than just the depth of life experience they can bring to the music is the depth of musical growth.

While Katie’s voice was exquisite then, a few albums, some fairly extensive touring and some very challenging musical projects has taken it to the next level.

Each of the musicians has been working extensively since george wrapped up and that has all been poured into this very special reunion.

I took a friend who wasn’t familiar with george to see how their music holds up two decades later and while he certainly didn’t have the connection to the music I had, there was no doubt he was right there with it, having the same early discovery of their music as I did.

But this was a gig for the fans, and while george gigs in the past might have been more of an arm waving experience than it was on Friday night, it was obvious the crowd were loving it.

I spoke to a few people in the foyer after the show and the resounding sentiment that it was a wild trip down memory lane and that’s entirely unsurprising.

George really did soundtrack Brisbane in the late 90s and early 2000s, you can almost hear Spring Hill and West End and the Valley coming out in their music.

So anyone who was around for those halcyon days of Brisbane’s live music scene will have some hazy memories attached to this music.

Now we can only hope this reunion marks, at the very least, a re-collaboration to see what else might come out.

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