LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: SAFIAHQ

Canberran indie-electronica trio SAFIA livened up a cold Thursday night at HQ on the second leg of their Story’s Start or End tour.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Eilish Gilligan’s earnest and deeply personal lyrics had the audience in a trance at the start of the night with a set that included “Patterns” and a song about how past loves can drift apart in “Small Talk”. Closing out the set with her popular track “S.M.F.Y.” you get the sense that Eilish Gilligan is a talented act to watch with a soulful voice.

Boo Seeka brought their energetic electronic hip-hop rhythms to the fore as the second support act playing their debut single “Kingdom Leader” and “Deception Bay” among a set filled with smooth grooves and sultry vocals to get everyone in the mood.

SAFIA then took the stage. With a melodic intro from their new second album Story’s Start or End “Ivory Lullaby” and fading into “Starlight” the audience was pulled into the dreamscape of SAFIA’s lush and woozy world. Known for their surreal artistic visuals, they did not disappoint with a constantly shifting backdrop of well-executed yet trippy illuminations throughout their show.

SAFIA are an act who have gone from strength to strength. Their following getting larger with each passing single. “Make Them Wheels Roll” got the crowd dancing and after the drop in “Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues” the laser lights were washing over a bustling dancefloor.

Vocalist/producer Ben Woolner showed off his impressive singing chops in stand-out track “Resolution” from their latest album. Woolner has a distinctive voice that can be so beautifully soft at one moment but can reach powerful highs the next.

SAFIA encored with “Embracing Me” and the title track of their album/tour and left us all with a warm buzz on what would have otherwise been a chilly night.

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