Review: Hartway 'Beyond' Single Launch at Rocket

Words by Nicole O'Rielley
Photos by Reuben Gore

If you weren't one of the sweaty bodies getting down for Hartway's 'Beyond' single launch at Rocket on Saturday night, you missed out on a night laced with grooves that were silkier and sexier than french lingerie.  

This lineup was no slap-together job: Hartway, ER@SER DESCRIPTION and Kuji Koo were the coffee and a cigarette, the bread and butter, the sex and consent – matches made in heaven.  

ER@SER DESCRIPTION kicked off the night. This trio of jazz students, who represented South Australia in the 2016 Nation Campus Band Competition, are insane musicians. Featuring two keys players and a drummer - already an eye-catching start. Definitely a must-see for all keys players, the performance quality of these lads is to the top floor of the Westpac building and, hey, if you're looking for a cheeky meme reference in the stage banter look no further.  

Second up was the first live performance from duo, Kuji Koo. Their smooth electronic grooves were created on stage with a blend of live drum pads, keytar, a sleek Nord keyboard, and pre-recorded samples. The duo are sure to be be making waves in the Adelaide club scene in the near future. There were sprinklings of jazz in the live keys solos as he effortlessly flitted up and down the ivories. Kuiji Koo have a future of jumping dancefloors and while they brought some bodies to the floor for a boogie they couldn’t keep them there. The downfall of this set which could have been a riot, was a lack of diversity. While the songs were groovy, they were all pouring from the same vein: similar tempo, similar key sounds, similar grooves and drum sounds. To initiate more bumping and grinding, Kuiji Koo are capable of, more dynamic and melodic changes need to be included. Overall though, a great debut performance.

Hartway brought the party to town playing to a packed out room. The hips were shaking. The heads were bopping. "Cheers" between songs were enthusiastic and not born of courtesy, but of pure enjoyment. Hartway paid respect to their jazz roots in their effortless, energetic and dynamic performance which incorporated live sample pads, keys, saxophone, bongos and flute. The incorporation of sax and flute worked beautifully; the pleasant textural qualities of these instruments fitted in flawlessly with their smooth beats. The party on the dance floor was equally apparent onstage: Hartway looked like they were having a great time and their positive energy bled life into their music and into the atmosphere at Rocket. Hartway couldn't have asked for a better set to celebrate the release of their new single 'Beyond,' taking everyone on a captivating journey drizzled with peaks and releases, irresistible grooves and sharp hooks.  

After winning studio time in a competition run by Fresh 92.7, Hartway went down to recording their upcoming EP Motions, 'Beyond' being the first release off the promising record. Ending on their new single, Hartway took their set higher with an elongated version of the track which also featured live vocals from the collaborative singer, Lesley Williams.

You can listen to that recent collaboration here:

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