Opening the night this week at Acoustic Rooms was favourites Stella and Chris, who last played a couple of weeks ago. For those unfamiliar, the pair are characterised by Chris’ bluesy guitar riffs and Stella’s soulful vocals. Switching it up, they closed their set this time with a more upbeat jam they call ‘The Phoenix’ which proved popular with the crowd.
The Mic crew were all excited for the second act of the night as it seems Luke Irwin has added some new tunes to his repertoire. Replacing his reliable folk staples was an unexpected cover of ‘Colorado Girl’ by Townes Van Zandt. This looks to be promising inspiration for Luke, as Van Zandt is in my opinion one of the most overlooked folk singers of the 20th century.
In direct contrast with Luke’s gentle and moody set was the energetic rapper Shaman, who hyped up the crowd before beginning a series of old school hip-hop bangers. Mixing in freestyles and catchy hooks with fast flows, he had a veteran grasp of the genre’s roots and brought the energy of the room to a high.
Showcasing the variety of moods and styles that can come about on Monday nights at Rescue Rooms, Jimmy Evans was then joined by Lauren Firenze Gill for a well-harmonised romantic country ballad to start off his time on the stage. He continued the set alone, playing a series of touching and intimate songs which oozed star potential. His soft John Mayer-like voice left magic in the room at the conclusion of his set.
It was refreshing to see a new face as Morgan Richter took to the stage with her ukulele. She had the audience on backing vocals with an opening cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals,’ and despite it being her Rescue Rooms debut, her stage banter showed off charisma and her set of cutesy pop covers was well received by the crowd.
This week’s featured artist was singer-songwriter Alex Lleo. Alex kept the audience hooked throughout his half an hour set, telling stories of boats and getting lost which complimented his windswept vibe and added meaning and context to his lyrics. The light folky vocal delivery was reminiscent of Will Varley or early J. Tillman material, artists whose footsteps his confident set showed he has the clear potential to follow.
It was back to the other end of the musical spectrum now for rappers Genio & Jalle. Consistently getting a big reaction from the crowd, the pair’s bassy and hook heavy rap tunes showcased a different approach to Hip-Hop than what we’d heard earlier from Shaman. Jalle switched it up to a more R&B-centric style later in the set, being joined by Genio and another rapper for some interesting collaborations.
As the night drew on and the buzz in the room peaked, Joey Collins hit the stage with his guitar, giving himself the introduction: “I’m Joey and I’m a bit pissed.” A cover of ‘Don’t Forget Me’ by Red Hot Chilli Peppers served as the opener to his rough-and-ready set of acoustic covers.
Back again was regular performer Brandon, who treated spectators to his usual mix of blues and rock n’ roll. As usual, his cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ had the audience singing that legendary chorus. Closing the night off was Jaque Sauvignon, who performed a mix of acoustic covers and original songs including his usual cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,’ which gets no complaints from me as it’s probably the best song ever written. As sure as the day is long, next Monday will bring a brand new assortment of talent along with some recurring pleasures.