After missing out on seeing this rock show at last year’s Fringe, I finally got to witness the hype that is 27 Club.
Presented by Andrew Kay, Australia’s premier rock and roll promoter, and Release Creative, the team behind last year’s hit Disco Wonderland and the Barossa Contemporary: Festival for the Curious, are bringing the house down again with this must-see gig.
A simple premise – lets celebrate the greats of rock and roll with a rotating cast of Australian rock royalty.
Featuring Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus, Kevin Mitchell of Jebediah fame, Carla Lippis, Dusty Lee Stephenson, Libby O’Donovan and a band that brings the house down – this is a concert for those who lived through the 70s, worshipped the 90s and celebrated the noughties.
The icons of the ’27 Club’ – those that met their demise at the age of 27 by drink, drugs or jealous husbands– included blues influencer Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix.
Add the exactness of The Moa as a venue, a still, balmy night, with a flight of bats and some fireworks accidentally thrown in, I was in my element.
Arriving to rapturous applause, busting out the classic ‘Purple Haze’ the band were the backbone of the night – absolutely electric!
Mitchell breaks out ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ with such great sound, it took me back to when I was 14 years old, hanging out at my friend Sally’s house, with her Nirvana posters all over the wall, blasting this track over and over. His vocals and moves on the Cobain hit ‘Come as You Are’ and Morrison’s ‘Break on Through [to the other side]’ were on rock star point.
The girl with the pipes, aka Libby O’Donovan, comes in with a Hendrix/Winehouse medley. This woman can SANG! I’ve been a big fan of O’Donovan and her work, so I loved seeing her in this arena.
Her rendition of Cobain’s ‘Lithium’ with incredible beams of light, just her and the piano, then building up to full band…. utterly breathtaking. An incredibly powerful chest voice, but whoo baby, her head register was next level!
A cool stage vibe, with blistering lighting, was set with a chill zone including armchairs for the artists to sit at and enjoy the show.
McLeod then comes in and belts out ‘Try’ with her throaty and guttural tones. Crazy vocalist but totally in control of every tune. An absolute rock chick in every sense of the word, she yanked the crowd in at every chance she got and never let go.
She had the punters in the palm of her hand when retelling the story of Joplin’s ‘retirement’ before she went running back into the warm embrace of rock and roll to create her best music ever.
The night interspersed with snippets about the 27 Club members, really drew in the crowd and made us totally invested in the story behind the show.
Stephenson on guitar and vocals was the complete rock package – busting out blues, rock n roll and grunge. From playing guitar behind his head to jumping into the audience to quench his thirst.
As I said. Rock. Star.
Best of all, none of them tried to be the original artists – it was their personal take on the songs; the music, their influence on them as singers and performers, and this feeling was completely transposed to us, the audience.
A rocking finale of ‘Another Piece of my Heart’ had the covid marshals working overtime to get the punters to sit in their seats – but the crowd won out in the end with a standing ovation!
Hands down, the best music event of the Fringe!