Fresh from a touring in the UK, Melbourne’s Olympia hit Fremantle, and the West Coast, on Thursday kicking off a run of shows around the country. Joining Olympia on the night were locals Noah Dillon and Felicity Groom.
Noah Dillon kicked off the evening strongly. Backed by a the standard trio of drums, bass and guitar, the Fremantle rocker started the set with recent single “Maggots” – it was a punchy and strong opener. It was a strong set, and the early crowd were into it. Latest single “You Did It To Yourself” was another highlight, as was “Jersey Street”, a song written for his late grandmother, and “Disappear” which closed out the set. I’d been meaning to catch Dillon live for a while now, and he didn’t disappoint. Though, there could’ve perhaps been a little more variation, if the set had been much longer, it might have started to sound all a little too similar. But, on the whole I liked what I heard.
Next on stage was Felicity Groom. Now I’m not sure if Groom was unwell, but this performance was not her best. It’s been a good couple of years since I last saw her live, but it was hard to reconcile Thursday night’s performance with my memories of past performances. All the elements were there, but it just wasn’t seeming to come together. The mix seemed to be off, with Groom’s vocals frequently in the early part of her set getting overpowered by the drums, bass, and keys. Certainly, Groom didn’t appear to be enjoying her time on stage, rather it looked like she was trying her best to power through, and make the best of a tough situation. Things did pick up towards the end of the set, with the issues with the mix mostly resolved, and the new song they rehearsed for the occasion sounded pretty good.
Looking like she’d stepped straight out of a retro science fiction feature, with knee high glittered boots, Olympia delivered an entertaining, energetic and fun set to kick off the main Australian leg of her “Star City” tour. With a new album on its way, the show proved to be the perfect opportunity to road test plenty of new material, with the Melbourne singer interspersing as yet unreleased tracks alongside old crowd favourites. The audience certainly didn’t seem to be struggling with the new material either, with Olympia declaring they were “10/10 on the new stuff”. All in all it was a fun set, upbeat, full of energy and verve and just so entertaining – whether it be due to the songs, or the banter between songs – including some wonderful rambling stories introducing a handful of songs. There were many highlights, “Self Talk” and “Star City” are the two that stick out the most at the moment.
There’s a real swagger to Olympia’s performance. And based on Thursday’s set it’s not misplaced either. She’s got a great voice, and clearly knows her way around a guitar too. Her and her band are tight too, they might not have played together since BIGSOUND, but they didn’t put a step wrong all night. Indeed, the only real low points during the set, were down to some elements of the crowd. The night was soured somewhat during the encore, when one member of the crowd seemed to get a bit inappropriate in his “banter”, resulting in a great set finishing on a wholly awkward and downbeat note. But, for the most part it was high energy and entertaining stuff, and a tantalising glimpse at some new material. Now we just need to wait for that new album to drop.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
“Star City” is available now. The tour continues in Melbourne and Sydney this week, the remaining tour dates are below. The reviewer attended the show at Mojos Bar, Fremantle on Thursday 11th October. For more information and to get tickets click HERE. You can also find Olympia on Facebook.
“Star City” Australian Tour
Oct 18th: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Oct 19th: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (Sold Out)
Oct 20th: The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
Oct 27th: Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane