REVIEW: RYA PARK- THE WORKERS CLUB, FITZROY (15/6/2017)

The best kind of Thursday night is a Thursday night spent at The Workers Club. Luckily enough for me, I have in fact spent several Thursday nights on the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude Streets. This night, in particular, was one I was definitely looking forward to.

Thursday June 15 saw Rya Park headline the band room, with supporting sets from Bloom and Jack the Fox. Not only did Rya headline an incredible show, she played to a sold-out crowd- the first I’d seen for the very band room I have spent an awful lot of time in.

I managed to catch the second half of Bloom’s set, and well, this girl really needs no introduction. I was instantly a fan after seeing her come runner up in the 2016 Melbourne Music Bank finale.

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 I also then scored the opportunity to review her single launch back in January (you can find it here!)

From experience, Bloom puts on immensely diverse sets- she is possibly the most vocally diverse artist I’ve seen out of Melbourne in a long time, and this set was no exception. She moved away from the soulful jazz I had once seen her play and headed towards the electronic pop thing- something I totally appreciate. Playing an entirely solo set with her laptop and guitar worked entirely to her advantage, and showed the audience yet again that she is a powerful, emerging Melbourne artist and a complete force

to be reckoned with. I actually almost forgot how good she is until I saw her that night, so definitely look her up if you haven’t yet.

The next act of the night was occasional-duo, occasional-five-piece-band act Jack the Fox. I’d literally never heard of these guys before seeing them (I honestly prefer it that way sometimes- it’s so much easier going in entirely unbiased), but far out they were unbelievable.

Overcoming some initial technical issues, the lead singer especially just got on with it- which is literally what this whole live music thing is about. I was left speechless the minute he opened his mouth- before he’d even started the set. What a voice this guy has and what a band these guys are. The audience were introduced to some Mumford and Sons-ish, storyteller vocals with incredibly picturesque lyrics. The underlying haunting tone in his voice had me on edge the entire time, and yet each song was different from the rest.19397732_1065316940268264_1849820819_n.jpg

Oh it gets better, though. They managed to get a didgeridoo on stage. And play it whilst alternating with vocals. I mean, seriously, why have I only just come across this band? These guys were honestly just awesome, and totally embodied the rawness of the Melbourne music scene.

Rya graced the audience with her presence not too long after Jack the Fox blew everyone away. Rya Park also fronts Melbourne-based band Tempus Sun, who were the winners of the 2016 Melbourne Music Bank. She is one artist who can perform either way and still completely encapsulate everyone in the audience.

Watching Rya perform was like staring into the soul of Ella Hooper- circa Weir. She’s definitely got the potential to have a long withstanding career, too. Rya also embodies the power of women in the music industry, with her songs sharing the theme of freedom.

The highlight of her set was her cover of London Grammar’s Strong. Not going to lie, I was totally nervous when she announced it- they’re one of my favourite bands. And let’s not forget that Hannah Reid is one of the best vocalists going around. Covering any song of theirs, let alone their most popular, is a tough gig, but Rya nailed every second of it. It was just awesome to see an artist challenge themselves and succeed.

I’m finding it difficult whilst writing this to pull apart her set, just because she’s honestly so good. I did struggle to hear her speaking when introducing her songs, but considering it was a sold-out show that was to be expected. There were no flaws apart from that, however.

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Rya’s final (well second-from-final) song of the night, highlighted just how versatile and dynamic her range is. It was a powerful, assertive song that had everyone on their feet. The backing vocalists really came to light as well, with everyone both on and off stage becoming involved. The crowd loved it so much that they demanded an encore, and Rya was awesome enough to meet their demands- something I’ve definitely never seen happen at a small gig. She encored with an upbeat tune- quite contrasting from the previous one- to round out the night.

Rya Park is an act to watch, and a name to remember. Her free-spirited, yet passionate tracks are catchy, well-performed and just a whole lot of fun.

 

Check out more from Rya Park:
Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

REVIEW: SCOTT CANDLISH EP LAUNCH, ‘HOME AWAY FROM HOME’ – THE WORKERS CLUB, FITZROY (23/2/17)

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.

C5jcOFDWQAAygvP.jpgFollowing 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.

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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.

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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

To follow Scott Candlish, click the following links:
SoundcloudTwitter | Facebook Instagram

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

REVIEW: NUSSY EP LAUNCH – THE WORKERS CLUB, FITZROY, MELBOURNE (31/7/14)

If you have ever had the idea of going to a venue with the objective of discovering a new artist, this is it!

It was a perfect end to the day and an escape from the ‘lovely’ winter weather.

The night began with opening act Rachel Costanzo who graced us with a mixture of originals and covers, including a piano version of her latest single, ‘Starlight.’ (watch here)

Maxi was on next as her infectious vibe saw everybody dancing and singing along, bringing the excitement to the next level. Her indie-pop character is also a prominent feature as her set list saw a collection of hits, old and new, with ‘Walking With the Animals,’ being the latest. (watch here)

Then on came the fairy lights and the wait was over as Nussy made her grand entrance on stage while the SOLD OUT crowd welcomed her with huge applause.

‘Dizzy’, the second track on her self-titled EP brought more cheers as confetti balls were thrown from the stage into the crowd. With the band members jamming along to the beat of the drum, it was clear that all members on the stage were having fun. As the show went on, we were dancing along to the futuristic synth melodies as the third track on her EP, ‘Prowling’ saw some fiery solos and the final track, ‘The Other Side’ was a nice break in the setlist as it was relaxing with inspiring lyrics.

To this day, I am still left hearing “D-d-d-dizzy baby,” on repeat in my head! I am so glad I attended. Discovering artists at a live venue is the best thing anyone can do because you are surrounded by so much energy and you are engulfed in the singer’s emotions which makes their music more meaningful. I was left in awe and had to purchase a CD.

The EP ‘Nussy’ was released on July 18 after her debut single ‘Dizzy,’ was released on July 4. It is said that the EP is based on the challenges and pressures that young adults may be faced at some point. (buy single here)

Nussy’s second launch show was in Adelaide on August 1 at Pirie and Co Social Club.

If you are looking for some fresh music to add to your ‘Recently Added’ playlist, you have found it.

This artist is going to be big!

To follow Nussy click on the links below:
Triple J UnEarthed | Soundcloud | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iTunes

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