Lucy Lorenne’s first headliner at Fitzroy’s The Workers Club epitomised what music-loving, stamp-bearing and beer-gripping Australians want to see, hear and feel when they walk through the front doors of a pub.
The line-up, consisting of supports Hassall, Tom Riccioni, followed by Miss Lorenne, took the weight off their audience’s shoulders – even for a few hours – and allowed them to indulge in a range of unique originals and familiar covers.
The music began with Hassall strumming out an acoustic set with just her guitar and cherry red baker boy cap – an overall mellow, but lovely introduction. Throughout the set, Hassall exuded Australian warmth. She made jokes about fish and chips, showed symptoms of Tall Poppy Syndrome by naming a song I Hate All My Friends Who Are Successful, and did this all while giving off vibes of both Missy Higgins and Angie McMahon.
For a stripped-back cover of Blink 182’s I Miss You, fellow Melbourne singer-songwriter Seb Szabo accompanied Hassall, which was truly delightful. Let’s put it this way – if Hassall was the already superb original Tim Tam, the additional input from Szabo took the set into ‘double-coat’ territory. Unfortunately, due to the poor acoustics in the band room, at times it was difficult to hear Hassall and follow along with her lyrics, thus resulting in a dwindling connection with the audience, however the set was a joy to watch and a promising start to the evening.
Tom Riccioni was next to take the stage and suddenly the Tim Tam transformed into a Tiny Teddy – a humble but confident contributor to the nostalgic Aussie biscuit family. As always, Riccioni’s set was raw, honest and grounding which is never met with rejection. Of course, it helps that his smile reflects true happiness, instantly inviting the audience into his creative space.
The less than typical theme of automobiles was explored through numerous songs within the set, with Waiting for the Bus projecting the playful vibes of Jack Johnson’s Upside Down. Additionally, with the expansion of my own musical knowledge, I have now noticed the hints of Alex Ebert of the folk-rock band Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes in Riccioni’s deliverance which further enriched the overall performance. Although the black walls and fluorescent lights did not provide the ideal setting for Riccioni’s soulful set, he adapted well to the environment and got his audience grooving.
And on to the main event, the lovely Lucy Lorenne! Lorenne’s set was somewhat of a Wagon Wheel if I do say so myself, with layers of musical marshmallow, jam, biscuit and chocolate all having potential to conflict, ultimately coming together in a wonderful way. There were covers ranging from Aretha Franklin to San Cisco, percussive beats reminiscent of Kings of Leon’s McFearless, a key-board player wearing a Seinfeld t-shirt with a keyboard tie, and foreign lyrics all underpinned by a jazz influence. Not to mention that Lorenne’s charming vocals are infused with an old Hollywood sound, particularly during her rendition of Cher’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).
Ultimately, I felt like I was listening to a Baz Luhrmann soundtrack and he isn’t Grammy nominated without reason. Fundamentally, Lorenne’s set was, without a doubt, a success. She is a charming, charismatic artist whose honest enjoyment of performing shone through and left the audience feeling uplifted. Undoubtedly, everyone who was lucky enough to be in the room is looking forward to Lorenne’s next gig.
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Written by Meli Szabo