Places in the heart: Kate Miller-Heidke

Singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke finds inspiration in Brisbane's sultry climate and river setting.

A lot of what I love about Brisbane is the sultry, sub-tropical weather, the trees and the way the river looks under the midday sun. April is just magical but I love October, too, when the glorious, fragrant jacarandas come out.

As kids, we used to go the heritage-listed Spring Hill Baths every weekend with my Dad. He used to drive with the windows up and the car had no airconditioning, so we would be ready for a swim when we arrived. Brisbane was a wonderful place to grow up. It was a very suburban, tropical existence and there was no pretension – then or now.

I have great memories of swimming in friends' pools during storms and of climbing our backyard mulberry tree and coming down stained purple. Going to the "Ekka" (the Royal Queensland Show, held at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground) was a big deal. My brother and I would spend months working out which show bags we wanted.

We used to ride our bikes everywhere. I still do. I love riding along the riverbank, across the Goodwill Bridge and through the Botanic Gardens. I live near the river's Kangaroo Point Cliffs, which are spectacular when lit up at night. I hardly ever use my car.

It's no accident that the Brisbane music scene has produced some incredible musicians, such as Ben Salter, The Boat People, Ball Park Music and Hungry Kids of Hungary. I think our isolation helps. You can evolve musically and come of age away from the main action. You have more time to develop your own style.

Kate Miller-Heidke tours Melbourne and Sydney in June.

Interview by Mal Chenu

This series of articles produced with support from Tourism Australia. 

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