Everyone who knows me knows how much I love a live gig. I love them even more when the gig belongs to someone I’ve recently met.
February 23 of 2017 was one of those nights.
I had seen Scott Candlish play before, as an opening act for fellow Melbourne act, The Hunter Express. I have also recently interviewed him, learnt his story and published his profile online. As a result, my respect for him continually grows. The launch of his EP ‘Home Away From Home’ had everyone in the Bandroom at The Workers Club grooving along.
Opening the night was Citrus Jam and let’s just say I was completely lost for words. The fusion of flamenco and metal with just his acoustic guitar, brought his absolute A-game. Despite sitting on a chair the entire set, he was able to manipulate his guitar and his loop pedal into something that was a completely new experience for me. And that is what I love about music, and in particular live music. That is how you know that they know music.
Everyone in the audience was awestruck and I even heard passing comments from them such as “that’s nuts” and “that is pure mental.” The best part of his set though, was that he was a damn good guitarist and an excellent musician who knew exactly what he was doing to get the crowd going. I must add that Jena’s highlight of the set was when he played his own rendition of Sandstorm.
Following Citrus Jam was two-piece band Wolf and Willow. They could not have been a further different genre and the only thing the two acts had in common were that they both used guitars (just goes to show how good guitars are!) You could tell from the first song that they were laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of guys, but they gelled really well together. The lead vocalist was silky smooth, yet still gave off Passenger vibes.
The best part of their set was their interactivity, both with each other and with the crowd. They were definitely ‘all about the music,’ as they explained via one of their songs and gave a good live performance.
Without a doubt, Brad Ellis of The Hunter Express is one of the best musicians I’ve seen across Melbourne. Having been impressed with him last time I saw him, I figured he was going to be back at his best. And he was. He is able to alternate between funky, upbeat tunes and laid-back folk songs whilst maintaining his musicianship the entire time.
I made comments on his single Hoping You Don’t Mind at All when I last wrote a review on one of his gigs. This song is just fantastic and honestly one that everyone should know. It is a mixture of big-band and roots, and the lyrics are so catchy you will be singing them for days. He got Scott up on stage to sing alongside him and that just made it all the more better.
Scott returned to the stage not too far later as the main act of the night. His opening track Flee, gave the audience a piece of exactly who he is as an artist. A traditional folk track with heartfelt, expressive lyrics was the perfect way to launch the Home Away From Home set.
It was awesome to see Scott’s pop and rock sides. The band was great and if it wasn’t for the fact that he told me it was only the second time he’d play with them in a couple years, I wouldn’t have known any better. Tracks Thrown It Your Way, Contact List were catchy, upbeat and relatable. His cover of Dave Matthews’ Grey Street was epic, and the band just brought the house down.
Shown Me Why and The Stranger were my two favourite songs of the night. They showed off how good his vocals were, and I appreciated his guitar work (despite what he says about instruments!) Shown Me Why was definitely a noteworthy track and one I could see going places. Monsters was also another highlight, as he stripped it right back and gave everything into this personal and encapsulating track.
Scott finished off the night the only way he could- with possibly the most folky song on the EP, Two Feet. It was also the first track released from it and sums up the concept of the EP entirely. He made me respect him even more at the conclusion of the night adding an extra song onto the set list to give his adoring crowd an ‘encore.’
A big hand goes to all the artists as they worked really well with the crowd and kept the majority of people engaged whilst giving awesome performances. I mean, we were hooked!
All in all, it was another memorable night at The Workers’ Club. Congratulations to Scott on the release of his EP Home Away From Home.
I can guarantee you will be hearing more of his name in the future.
To purchase the EP: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/home-away-from-home/id1198694079
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra