Live Review: AB Original, Thelma Plum

13 June 2017 | 6:50 pm | Catherine Delpero

"This was a special occasion that hit all the right notes and hit them hard."

More A.B. Original More A.B. Original

For most Hobart locals, when a faint red glow sweeps over the city on cold winter nights they know it means one thing - Dark Mofo is upon us. On the first 'real' night of the festival, a crowd of predominantly locals packed out the Odeon Theatre for the formidable line-up of Thelma Plum and AB Original.

An unusual festival needs a slightly odd beginning and Thelma Plum delivered it unexpectedly when she had some foldback issues and needed to distract the crowd while they were fixing it. She launched into an impromptu story about how she once fangirled with Nick Cave and told him she was a vegan to be cool, like him. A few months later, he busts her eating prosciutto. Perfect. The crowd instantly loves Plum and the panicked look she started her set with evaporates as she launches into her clever, soul-fuelled songs with grace and panache.

Plum's cover of Chet Faker's Gold was a stunning effort, showcasing her ridiculous vocal range. Other standout tracks included the beautifully moody How Much Does Your Love Cost? and the sweary singalong to Around Here. Bring on her first album.

Next up, Hobart just wasn't ready for AB Original's flawlessly hard-hitting bass, lyrics, attitude, politics - you name it they threw it in one swift uppercut. Once the locals realised this set was going to be a relentless celebration of all things old school hip hop, they laced up their Public Enemy style combat boots and jumped in head first. It didn't matter where you came from or what your life is like, you could share an experience bigger than any race or culture. Justice, peace and having the courage to step up and give the middle finger to oppression and inequality is the AB Original message and Hobart was completely on board.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

MC's Briggs and Trials command the helm of AB Original but this is by no means a two person show. Vocalist on stand out tracks such as January 26 (normally with Dan Sultan) and Dead In A Minute, Caiti Baker is the secret ingredient of this outfit. This lady was everything. Thelma Plum came back to the stage for a cracking performance of ICU and DJ skills and dance breakouts were provided by the absolute legend, DJ Total Eclipse of New York's own The X-Ecutioners.

Not often is Hobart treated to a real rap show. This was a special occasion that hit all the right notes and hit them hard. Like Briggs and Trials said, "No one says fuck 'em quite like us."