Hello from Sydney, it’s Bec (RACKETT), writing to you again with news of my nocturnal adventures. This month (May) I saw live shows from one of the most sampled bands in the world; Hiatus Kaiyote, transformative indie-pop ensemble; I Know Leopard, femmepop Aussie export; CXLOE, jazz-pop queen; Washington and an exciting fresh find from Melbourne; Clever Austin.
Playing to a sold out crowd at The Metro Theatre, Hiatus Kaiyote, put on a triumphant live show. A warm welcome home into the arms of 2000 loving fans, in the wake of lead singer, Nai Palm’s recent battle with breast cancer. Armed with her Flying V guitar, Nai Palm shone in a sequined bodysuit, thigh high black boots and black cap, emulating her strength and swag. I apologise to the rest of the band, all extremely talented musicians, flawless in the delivery of the band’s greatest hits, but I just could not take my eyes off Nai Palm. Her vocals touched me in places no lover has ever reached. Hiatus brought a vibe, a positive one. I made new friends, we smiled, we cried, it was a celebration of life and art and love and you must, must see them if they come to Perth.
Here’s a classic live video of Hiatus Kaiyote performing Nakamarra –
I Know Leopard
I do know leopard and I hope you do too. The Sydney, all-star ensemble features members of Sydney punk band, These New South Wales, their recent live shows, also featuring The Preatures guitarist, Jack Moffit. There is a lot of comradery behind the band, from the music industry and long term fans alike. From the band’s first headline show at Brighton Up Bar in Sydney (capacity 110) in 2014, to selling out their album launch show at Oxford Art Factory (capacity 550) this month, I Know Leopard have created a dedicated cult following of DIY enthusiasts and tragic romantics. On the night, the band came out sparkling, Rosie (bass) and Jenny (violin) in matching red, glitter bodysuits, LED lights transforming keyboards into sci-fi consoles, transporting us to a dimension somewhere between the past and the future, I think they call it ‘the present’ but I’m never there much so I wouldn’t know. The band have released their long anticipated album ‘Love is a Landmine’, check it out, my favourite song is ‘Heather’.
Also, here is a live video of the band performing their song ‘Seventy Lies’ at Sydney’s iconic grunge building, Hibernia House, by my dear friend Josh Groom.
I’m still reeling from CXLOE’s angelic performance at The Oxford Art Factory. She’s a wholesome kind of babe, even when she sang her latest single ‘I can’t have nice things’, I didn’t believe her. I think she can and does have many nice things; a killer wardrobe, a beautiful voice, catchy af music, a sick band, adoring fans and a wireless mic, come on babe! I was impressed (relieved) when she kicked the full band off stage to perform a cover of ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries, indicating that I might just scrape into the age bracket of her youthful fan demographic.
CXLOE’s latest single ‘I can’t have nice things’.
I saw Washington, aka Megan Washington, I’m going to call her Megan from here on in because this was a very intimate, bonding experience between us. In a room of 50 ppl at The Golden Age Cinema, Megan made me cry. Dressed in a classic black dress, dark eyes and that strong, husky, yet delicate voice, Megan performed striped back versions of her most well known work from her 2010 album ‘I believe you liar’ through to her most recent single; ‘Dirty Churches’. I’m not sure if it was the hypnotising, LED teardrop lights that surrounded Megan on the tiny Golden Age Cinema stage, or her bewitching vocals, but I had to keep popping out for air throughout the show, like looking at medusa, I had to look away, at one point I was close to fainting. She finished the set and reduced me to a blubbering mess with her song Underground, a song writing masterpiece, motion picture that had my life flashing before me. Megan is an artist that makes you feel, that brings all the madness, hope and despair to the surface. Waterproof mascara required.
Washington’s new single ‘Dirty Churches’.
I caught Clever Austin opening for Hiatus Kiayote at The Metro Theatre. Clever he is. His arrangements and delivery needed no antics, a humble performer and conductor of his bite size orchestra, an exciting shake up to my mechanical pop ear. His music is spontaneous, with fun, unexpected changes, like a mathematical wonderland. Highly recommended.
Until next time,
Here is my playlist of music I’m listening to from Aussie artists.
Love Bec (RACKETT).