Live Review: Reb Fountain shakes Melbourne’s Brunswick Ballroom with Ellis King

Credit: Ross Green, Photographer

On Tuesday, multi-award-winning Reb Fountain returned to Melbourne for the second time following the release of her single, ‘Faithless Lover’. The Lyttelton (NZ) based alternative-folk-noir artist recently completed her European tour supporting Marlon Williams, headlining shows in the UK as well as performing at The Great Escape Festival (UK).

For Reb’s return to Melbourne, The Brunswick Ballroom offers a classy candlelight dinner and show experience. Framed by heavy red velvet curtains and decorated with chandeliers and a giant disco ball, the venue holds a special cabaret feel attracting old and young audience.

At 08:15 PM, the indie singer-songwriter Ellis King takes to the stage for a short opening set. Shy and gentle in nature, Ellis performs a few personal songs on a semi-acoustic guitar. A beautiful opportunity for a young artist to showcase her original story-telling work.

By 09:00 PM, dinner wraps up and the room fills with excitement. Reb comes out on her own performing the first song as a solo acoustic. She is wearing a moody black suit emphasising her iconic huge hair. The band joins for the rest of the show and they are absolutely phenomenal!

The dreadlocked Earl Robertson on the drums is full of feel and the goth looking Karin Canzek on the bass is a vibe. Full of chemistry and charisma, the two make the perfect rhythm section, incredibly tight and connected. On her left, Reb scored Dave Khan who is nothing short of a weapon. Swapping between guitar, key board and violin (sometimes mid song) this guy can do it all! All three adding in backing vocals and lifting each tune to its highest potential. What a privilege to see such five star musicianship.

Credit: Ross Green, Photographer

This group of super stars is handpicked perfectly to compliment the one of a kind Reb. With her captivating persona and the impressive variation in her voice and style, Reb delivers an extraordinary experience that travels through all spectrum of emotions.

A few songs in Reb says, ‘Is everyone OK? Just trying to bring you down to deep melancholia and then I will lift you up again’.

Reb’s show is full of mood and character from start to finish. She performs tunes from her albums IRIS (2021) and Reb Fountain (2020), as well as earlier material showcasing her expressive dance moves, guitar and keyboard playing and of course unforgettable vocals.

It’s about mid show when Reb chooses to perform her latest single ‘Faithless Lover’, with her on acoustic and vocals and the drummer adding some BVs. Dave Khan is sipping on his beer for the first few verses – and the next minute he is unleashing an epic violin solo. Reb’s new song proves to be one that shakes you awake. It also seems to be the turning point of the show where, as promised, the mood lifts and the music turns more upbeat.

‘Samson’ makes a particular impact on the audience with its dramatic double keyboard intro and Reb’s impressive theatric monologue in the verses.

For her last song, Reb chooses the hit ‘Don’t you know who I am?’, flowing with rhythm and claiming the full range of vocals to her repertoire. She saves her highest note to the very end (no doubt she can hit them all) and hands it over to the drummer who lets loose for his glory outro moment.

By this point, everyone is dancing in their seats or on the floor and of course we scream for more. For the encore, the band delivers ‘Lacuna’, and one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while comes to an end.

Reb’s show is the kind that inspires you to create better art. It is a performance not to miss!


Credit: Ross Green, Photographer

Reb Fountain is performing at BIGSOUND 2023 as part of her Australian tour. Please see dates and details of all upcoming shows HERE

To keep up with all news and updates from Reb follow her website and socials HERE.

The reviewer attended the performance at Melbourne’s Brunswick Ballroom on 5th September 2023. 

Anna Blaby

Anna is a Melbourne based mum, writer and storyteller.