Live Review: Amy Shark, Fractures, Tommy Castles

21 August 2017 | 3:16 pm | Bree Chapman

"An insane amount of love emanates from the crowd, who echo Shark's every lyric."

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First up, Tommy Castles graces the epic Corner Hotel stage. Chimes stand tall above his head. A harmonica is held up around his neck and, with an acoustic guitar in hand, he looks like he has been plucked straight from Bondi Beach. Nevertheless, Castles is at home in front on stage. Watching him use his head to play the chimes with finesse and flawless timing, we wonder if there is anything he can't do. His is a classic, folky sound and that is beautifully authentic.

Next up is Fractures (aka Mark Zito), master of a sultry kind of folk. It's a stripped-back and intimate performance sans full band. His sound is unique in that it's as much about the electronic and experimental as it is traditional folky ballads. Every now and again Zito holds the crowd in this sweet spot of silence and awe.

When Amy Shark bounds onto the already well warmed-up stage, the audience's eager rush forward is no surprise. Shark opens with her latest hit Drive You Mad. An insane amount of love emanates from the crowd, who echo Shark's every lyric. She pushes the energy higher again with Spits On Girls and doesn't hold back. Every punchy movement perfectly hits the beat and shows the kind of honest passion that we hear in her lyrics. The intimate flavour of the night sees punters mimicking the same uninhibited joy and honest freedom that Shark shares with us. There is little room to dance, but we find a way.

On stage, Shark has the deadly and haunting presence of the very creature after which she is named. Shark then shares one song she confesses she "only plays when the mood is right". It's a beautifully raw, stripped-back track that leads with delicate guitar riffs and crashes into a powerful instrumental. Shark has punters in a frenzy and we're on edge waiting for the final song. And Adore is, in fact, where she leaves us. But not before jumping down from the stage for a transcendent final singalong with her adoring crowd.

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