16 February, Husdon Ballroom
The Hudson Ballroom audience is sparse as Oh Boy starts his electronic dance set. It’s a shame there are not many people to dig the vibes, because there are plenty of vibes to dig. With an electronic drummer on stage (the kit, not the player) and another percussion cohort, Oh Boy (William Bradshaw) is focused on his DJ desk like no DJ I’ve ever seen before. Without hardly a look up, he flows from song to song – including his collaboration with Mallrat, Rush Hour and latest single, Love Me Right. Despite the lack of people, there is no lack of movement from the people in attendance and it’s only the beginning of a warm night of dancing.
Nasty Mars is a young soul, R&B singer and rapper from Melbourne and straight away there’s a very cool aura from the artist. “This song is all about girls,” he begins. “Actually, they’re all about girls.” His set is a combination of soothing soul sounds – complimented with raps, vocals and undeniably luscious beats. His talents are brought to the fore in a small taste of acapella freestyle before he jumps into the recognisable What Do You Believe In (wdubi) – a collaboration he created with Baro in 2016. His most recent song Soul Island is a deliciously smooth tune that gives us an opportunity to join in. There’s a certain something in this artist’s set that teases a lot of potential.
Despite the crowd sticking to the outskirts of the room for the opening two sets – they all converge on the middle as Alice Ivy and her guitarist, Lewie Amiel – suitably adorned in pink and yellow jumpsuits, literally jump onto the stage. It’s a set-up that allows Alice Ivy to utilise the stage space – with a small mixer at the front of the stage, some pads to whack further back and the mic up front. She rotates between them through the night, hardly ever stopping, other than to pull her hair back behind her ears.
Following a bouncing version of the opening track from her outstanding debut album Touch, we are in for a treat. Bertie Blackman comes to the stage for the first-ever live version of Chasing Stars. Blackman’s voice soars over the dream-like beats from Ivy. It’s a special moment. The set continues with a mix of new and old, including Baby Blue, Get Me a Drink and album closer, Kaya High. “I do the lead singing on this one and I’m so nervous!” she declares before knocking the song out of the park.
The crowd dance, cheer and clap appreciatively. So much so that the call for an encore sees her return to the stage with a broad smile. “I wasn’t expecting an encore! Give me a bloody minute!”
The night finishes the way it started – with us dancing, smiling and wishing it never had to end. A joyous set from a hugely talented producer and all-around legend.