Greetings from torrential Sydney! Bec here, fellow musician (RACKETT) and music obsessionist. Since we’ve last spoken I’ve started working as a music publicist, which basically means listening to music all day from Australian artists and bands, filling my ears with new releases by day and filling my eyes with live performances at night. This month I’ve gorged on performances by FKA Twigs, Kira Puru, Charlie Gradon, Elizabeth Fader, GOSH, Pacific Avenue, The Vanns, Pinkish Blue and Hollow Coves.
FKA TWIGS – Carriage Works for VIVID Sydney – Sunday 9th June
If you haven’t been to Vivid Festival in Sydney, book your flights for next year. Vivid is a huge, month-long party, celebrating creativity through light, art and music and draws in huge artists from around the world and crowds to experience their creations.
Stepping into English artist, FKA Twigs creation was a trip. Held in Carriage Works, a retired train station, FKA Twigs slips onto the stage from between two huge, velvet, red curtains to a full house (station), in tap shoes! She starts tap battling to her own track and it’s so hot. I am tap dancer and I have always considered tap to be the dorkiest of dance genres, FKA Twigs redefined that. The curtains open to reveal a satin wonderland and FKA Twigs is joined by four dancers. Visually, I’m getting a ‘Pirates of Penzance at sports day’ vibe with FKA and her crew dressed in pillowy linen, lace, feathered hats and lycra.
The set continues to reveal itself, song by song, as does FKA Twigs’s ability to sing and dance. Amongst the clouds, she soars to new heights with her vocals and takes us to the gates of heaven as the final piece of her set is revealed; a giant three-story high scaffolding wall holding an electric cello player, two percussion stations, four dancers and her famous pole. We all climax with FKA Twigs as she mounts the pole for a routine that is nothing short of mindblowing, brief but powerful. Highlights for me; obviously the tap dance and the pole dancing, but also an explosion of confetti during ‘Two weeks’ and her encore performance of her latest single ‘Cellophane’ which brought the most made up of fashion influencers in the crowd to a blubbering mess. Oh, one last beautiful moment was when she sang the lyric ‘I’m not enough’ from Cellophane and above the quiet weeping a voice from the crowd yelled ‘yes you are!’. Yes, you are!
If you haven’t seen FKA Twigs new video clip for her single Cellophane, DO IT NOW. Then, watch this behind the scenes. FKA Twigs trained for a year to do this clip.
‘Moving Up’, in her own words, Kira Piru is on the rise. For those of you that haven’t been to Oxford Arts Factory, it’s split into two sections; the humble Gallery Bar and the proud main stage. Kira has conquered both, upsizing from Gallery Bar for her ‘Tension’ launch to the main room to launch her latest banger ‘Everything is better without you’. For recently single me, this track speaks my truth. The room is packed. Kira sidesteps across the stage with her casual swag and powerful voice in a black, fun-is-my business-suit. Her groves are seriously dope. She played a bunch of new songs, one, in particular, a ballad about falling in love with the dance floor which I loved, and finished the set with her banger ‘Molotov’. Perth, go and see Kira this Friday, 5th July at Jack Rabbit Slims. Tickets here.
The Vanns – 123 Music Label Launch at Oxford Arts Factory – Tuesday 18th June
I went into the 123 Music Label Launch as an undercover DJ, to catch three amazing new acts; The Vanns, Pinkish Blu and Hollow Coves, that have signed to 123 Music, a new record label formed between Sony Australia and 123 Booking Agency. I’ve played with The Vanns on festival bills over the years and I love these boys. Biose aside, The Vanns are super talented, lead singer Jimmy’s vocals cut through the band like butter. The band have been keeping a low profile, recording a new album with Holy Holy’s, Oscar Dawson, dropping the first teaser single from the album ‘Mother’ on the 19th of June. Having heard what’s to come for the rest of the album, I can assure it’s been worth the wait. Check out ‘Mother’ on the playlist.
Battling my way through a scrum of uni students, dodging spilling beer and selfies, I hold a firm viewing position (nearly ontop of the band) in what must be the smallest, maybe even weirdest band room in Sydney. There is no stage, a wall in the middle of the room, no smoke machines, no soundie, but there is a vibe. A huge one. Pacific Avenue are a young, throwback to 70’s rock, Zepplin meets Wolfmother, with a little modern hint of The Hives vibe, band from Wollongong. Unique in their own way, but nothing new in that they made all the girls in the roam try to sexy headbang. Currently touring with GOSH, another east coast NSW band on the rise, who’ve also just released a sick one ‘Say Another Thing’, there must be something, or maybe nothing happening in Wollongong except endless jams. It’s on the playlist.
A Postcard From Sydney Playlist