A night with three of Adelaide's acoustic gems.
Words by Anthony Nocera Photos by Sharmonie Cockayne
There’s something about having an acoustic gig somewhere as quaint as Vinyl that breeds a certain amount of closeness. The chairs are mismatched, the wallpaper is darling It’s all very kitsch and the lights are golden and warm and the drinks are good. It’s intimate. And even though you’re sitting in your own little groups at your own tables, you can hear the conversations of people around you and it feels like you’re all there together, all just one big group of friends. Almost like family. You sip your gin. And then the idiot behind you yells out, ‘GEE, THIS PLACE HAS HELLA GOOD ACOUSTICS MAN’ while someone is playing and his friends all laugh at how ‘freaking clever’ the joke is.
You quickly remember that these people are not your family, or even your friends. You realise you might even hate them. You pound the rest of your drink. You proceed to thank the universe that Vinyl is so pretty and that the music is so good and get lost for a little while. Sasha March, Tim Moore and Louis Donnarumma (which is a name that is as fun to say as it is ridiculous to type) were the ones providing the good music and they delivered in spades.
The night began with local staple Sasha March. Having been gigging and kicking around for a while, March is undoubtedly a professional and consistent performer with an absolutely stunning voice. Playing tracks off of her self-titled EP, some previously unheard tracks (that are so new, that even Sasha herself was hesitant to play them) and a cover of ‘Jolene’ that had the entire venue in stunned and excited silence, it was a beautiful set that was fun enough to get the crowd warmed up while being powerful to have them completely entranced for its entire duration. What’s special about March’s EP is the intimacy and warmth of the music; it’s something that is she not only maintains live, but turns into complete magic, especially on hit-song ‘Calm Him Down’, and the lovely ‘Devil’.
After a slight delay (and more Gin from the lovely Vinyl bar-staff), Tim Moore took to the stage to deliver his unique brand of sweet folk. Warm syrupy vocals combined with his affable stage presence and downright fantastic banter with the crowd made for an enjoyable set, which may have dipped slightly in energy towards the end. He’s set to be recording some new music in the next few weeks, so keep your eye out for his new stuff.
Finally Louis Donnarumma (who I will refer to as LD from now on lest I hurl my laptop across the room) took the stage with his brand new backing band which features a double bass. Though young - with LD and his band all being in their teens - these guys delivered an electrifying set that had the whole venue in stunned silence. Sounding like the love child of Matt Corby and John Butler, LD’s remarkable voice was everything from guttural and raw to delicate and soft to pretty much mind-blowing. It’s rare for people so young to have such a clear and definite style, and such impenetrable control over their vocals and performance, but LD and his band of fellow wunderkinds didn’t miss a beat throughout their set. These guys were absolute pros from the moment they took the stage, and LD is someone you simply need to see live.
It’s a shame that Vinyl has to close its doors so soon (or at all) because there simply isn’t a venue in Adelaide that could’ve pulled this night off… at least not to the same degree. Alas, all three acts did a fabulous job and made for a great, intimate night of guitars, folk storytelling and beautiful harmonies. Despite my intense hatred of the douchebag sitting behind me I can’t deny that he was right: Sasha March, Tim Moore and LD have some seriously good acoustics.
If you want to say a proper goodbye to Vinyl, you can bid farewell at their closing party on Saturday the 23rd of May: Event Here.