Live Review: Safia + Boo Seeka + Owen Rabbit - Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane (27.08.15)

Safia have been absolutely killing it this year. With single after single, they have been getting so much radio play as well as selling out show gigs all across the country. The last time I saw Safia was at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND conference last year, and holy wow, what a difference a year makes. They have really stepped up their game and brought the production of their live show up to a whole new level.

Opening the night was Owen Rabbit. This newcomer had some awesome music created live on stage using pedals, loops and found sounds. His ingenuity was fascinating to watch, especially when using crumpled paper, live matches and rice shakers to create percussive sounds. He utilised the audience to help him create some loops, but because of the micing and lack of numbers due to opening the gig, it didn’t quite work out as well as he had hoped. There is a lot to like about Owen Rabbit, however he is so raw and rough around the edges that for a live show it was a little static. This however, I think will work itself out with time and further experience.

Up next was Boo Seeka. What a crazy year these lads have had also! Having only formed the band 9 months ago, the lads have racked up hits including “Deception Bay” and “Kingdom Leader”. They were completely genuine on stage and were humble about how the year has changed the direction of their lives. The frontman’s vocals are so beautiful have so many “old soul” characteristics to them. There is a richness and an ease that come to his performing that makes the duo so intriguing to watch. They played “Deception Bay” as their third song, and the set only continued to intensity from there. Just a solid set from the lads!

Now that the floor was packed to capacity, Safia took to the stage in a flourish of strobe opening their jam-packed set with “Counting Sheep”. The trio has the perfect mix of energetic electronic goodness and highly polished vocals. Since the last time I saw the band, they have developed so much. They have a heavier and more confident sound and as a result their showmanship was more confident as well. There were times when they got the entire crowd bouncing so much that the floor was having some seriously scary movements. Ben Woolner was on fire! His vocals were flawless and ranged from his ethereal, airy sound all the way through to growl vocal techniques. And he never missed a beat.

Just as with the whole band, there has so much more confidence as a performer here and it makes me so damn happy! These guys were the highlight of my BIGSOUND last year by quite a large margin, and it is so good to see them getting the success they deserve. I mean over 20 sold out shows across the country? That’s got to put a smile on your dial!