Review by Tom Gaffney
Olympia’s been grabbing attention by the handful in the last couple of months – in fact, just checking her Facebook page shows post after post of publications giving her nothing but love. Adelaide was lucky enough to have the Melbourne based singer-songwriter make a quick stopover to headline an incredible female-centred band line-up that gave gender inequality in music a swift kick to the face.
The night attracted a very particular kind of crowd, best described as a sizeable huddle of triple j lovers in their late 20s who’re all just cruising through life. These guys seemed to dig our own wonderful woman Naomi Keyte, who warmed up the stage with her self-described ‘severe folk’ backing band and lush, indie songwriter roots.
With the stage freshly graced with the silky, intimate vocal of Keyte, it was national support Sarah Belkner’s turn to keep the room’s chilled out nature going. Belkner initially positioned herself oddly to the left of the stage, which – given her act as a solo artist – was a little unorthodox. As her set progressed from grassroots to a pretty significant portion of the crowd under the spell of her mesmerising vocal and piano talents, Belkner appeared visibly more confident to perform to the room, and seemed to have a great time on Producers Bar’s stage.
Olympia popped out on stage shortly after, complete with her backing band - featuring Sarah Belkner – and Pride and Prejudice meets TRON: Legacy attire. Olympia is a seriously enjoyable artist to watch, with her odd banter very often taking you by surprise. “So, who has the internet?” Olympia sheepishly said at one point, further explaining that she’d forgotten the guitar tuning for the song and asked if someone was able to look it up for her. With no-one volunteering, Olympia pressed on in a trial-and-error fashion until the tune sounded right.
There was a huge variation on what Olympia was performing on stage. From her post-rock infused guitar tremolos, pop hooks, and subtle, smooth tunes on the piano, her songs had different natures, but managed to gel so skilfully throughout the set. The end of the set saw a fan-favourite track, ‘Smoke Signals’, which did wonders in acting as a great finale to a fantastic show.