AU ABROAD

Live Review: Horrorshow + Tuka + Left. - The Gov, Adelaide (05.04.15)

My Easter Sunday wrapped up at The Gov, where Sydney's brought their stripped back 'Listen Close Tour' to an end. Considering the Adelaide show on the tour wasn't a part of the original run of dates, it was fantastic to see that the gig had sold out tonight. Supported by Tuka and Left., the night saw three acts who are normally known for some huge hip-hop and electro/soul sounds, mix it up and present their music in a raw, inventive fashion.

It's great to see Left. on a larger stage on this visit through Adelaide; they've quickly risen through the ranks, venue-wise, starting with the tiny digs at Pirie & Co Social Club, to the larger stage at Jive more recently and now, at The Gov. I've said it before that in Sarah Corry and Jono Graham, we've got one of the country's most interesting new acts at the moment and it was cool to see them put an acoustic spin on their atmospheric, beats-infused soul music. Before tonight, I wouldn't have been able to quite imagine how it would translate, but it worked; if anything, it showcased the breathy vocal talent Corry harnesses into something with force behind it and how much room there remains for experimentation within some of their arrangements. As Solo would say during the main set, we should all be on the look out for Left. - they're comin' for us.

It's been a little bit since I've seen Tuka perform his solo material and again, I was interested to see how he'd deliver his material in this specific format. A definite standout performer, Tuka and his band injected some funk into his songs, jazzing up some of the arrangements to the delight of the crowd. "Nirvana", a special track in "My Star" and other cuts from his impressive solo body of work made their way into the more memorable moments of the night and by the end of his set, Tuka had a standing ovation. He mentioned near the beginning of the set that performing in this format (seated audience) made him incredibly nervous, but you couldn't tell; in Tuka, we've got one of the gems of the Aussie hip-hop scene at the moment with a sharp talent, a knack for live performance and a killer charm, he worked the crowd well, leaving us hanging on every note.

Similarly with Horrorshow, even though it was made obvious that this format of show wasn't something they approached lightly, each delivery was near-on flawless and really demonstrated the different facets of the duo's lyricism and talent as musicians. "King Amongst Many", "Listen Close" and "Nice Guys Finish Last" provided early highlights and even though the majority of the people in The Gov remained in their seats the whole set, arms were waving and the vocals were strong with the crowd, as if it was any other hip-hop show. Two kids in the front row were noticeable, rapping every word along with Solo, completely incensed by the show taking place less than 2ft from them - that's the kind of vibe and connection I love about these kinds of gigs; it's not just the validation the artist stands to get with each cheer and round of applause, but to look down and see kids not missing a beat, it's so cool to watch.

Both Tuka and Corry return to the stage at different points during the headline set to get involved, moments of the show that go down incredibly well. By the time Horrorshow wrap up with "Dead Star Shine", they've been performing for a good hour and a half and yet the crowd could easily go another round, judging by the enthusiastic response the musicians received as they took their final turn on the stage. It was great to see the music interpreted in the way the 'Listen Close Tour' allowed it to be and all up, it was what it said on the bill - real horrorshow.