Prove your humanity

On Saturday night (November 30th), a diverse group of local artists from multiple genres—ranging from jazz to electronica—played an intimate gig at the Lucky Goat Factory in O’Connor.

As a crescent moon welcomed the crowd to the cosy venue, littered with quirky knick-knacks and enticing large-scale wall art, Lilia started off the evening with a solo acoustic set. Performing to a modest crowd, the singer-songwriter showcased his powerfully raw vocals, accompanied by warm guitar pieces. He played stripped-back, yet emotive, renditions original songs like Mrs Jones and Those Days, along with a cover of 2008 Kings of Leon hit Sex on Fire, sparking woos and cheers in the dimly lit room.

Following a short break, newly formed jazz group Rubaclava entered the stage single file through the audience with eponymous original track Rubaclava. High-spirited, they played vintage tunes like Next Door Blues—featuring a groovy bass and piano solo—Everyday and the most engaging song of their set Route 66, where vocalists Owen Measday and Lucinda Marley drew band member names from a hat who proceeded each with lively solos on their respective instruments. Constantly on throughout the night, an overhead projector played psychedelic visualisers in the stage’s background, adding a unique flavour of visual vibrancy to the night’s music—especially for the big band.

I can see Rubaclava’s vision of extending the boundaries of the big band music audience slowly coming to fruition in this gig. Having such a diverse line-up brings audiences from different genres together, inadvertently exposing people to new music which they might just enjoy. While they bring a great deal of energy to the stage, I find a lot of the older songs they played would be less accessible to a younger audience. I can definitely see a big band arrangement of a contemporary song hitting it off with the crowd in the future.

Up next was indie-rock group Ghost Care, with atmospheric guitar riffs, warm basslines and jocund drumbeats. With cruisy tunes like Midnight, Oxygen and latest release Home Run, the local three-piece filled the up room. There was one muck-up, where Beau Torrance (guitar, leads) started off a song in the wrong key, but overall it was a truly enticing set with laughs, cheers and full-bodied tunes. There was a special moment during one of their songs State of Mind, where a hypnotic silence from a wide-eyed audience met Torrance’s velvety guitar piece.

Starting around 11 pm, Your Girl Pho and her live band—consisting of a drummer and a sax player—wrapped up the night with vibrant instrumentals and smoothly sassy R&B-style vocals. Some seriously groovy tunes included Five-Thirty PM, Don’t Wanna and I Can’t Take It, which featured a crisp sax solo. Your Girl Pho had a comfortably energetic stage presence, with head bops and dance breaks in the crowd.

In terms of lighting, the setup was fairly basic apart from the projector—two multicoloured LED lights on the floor and one dim stage light. I think the gig could have been improved by some overhead lights and a bit of smoke to highlight the performers a bit more. However, as a result of the lights being quite simple, the whole room had an air of intimacy sometimes lacking at larger gigs.

Overall, it was a fun gig with a snug atmosphere. With no more than 150 people in the audience, it would have been nice to see it a bit more crowded, but I’m sure the people who made it had an enjoyable time in the hidden gem of a venue.