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Live Review: Didirri, Emerson Snowe, Merpire

16 November 2018 | 5:28 pm | Luke Saunders

"Didirri’s charisma and profound revelations are something rarely seen on stage."

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Melbourne duo Merpire soothed the sold-out crowd as they spilt into Oxford Art Factory. Spot on harmonies and a powerful lead voice were their aces up the sleeve as the songs climbed in energy and quality throughout the set. Hauntways was a highlight, self-described as a journey through '80s cult film Labyrinth with David Bowie. 

Emerson Snowe graced the stage next in his own quirky, beautiful way, with his crazy black hair and thick black rings around his eyes. Brazenly attacking the crowd for talking too loud actually came off pretty hilariously as everyone got on side and hushed. This is a performer who doesn’t care if you like him or not but in the humblest, happiest way possible. Sunlight won the crowd quickly with its fun hooks and sprinting acoustic strumming. 

“I wrote a song called Humans a few weeks ago. My manager said 'it’s the hottest track' he’s ever heard, it should be the next Didirri single," he quips. "But I want it to be my single. 'We’ll see' said my manager," with the room aglow with laughter while the music lifted spirits even higher. 

A three-piece hit the stage under soft lights and pick up a slow, sultry blues jam. Dressed in full white, shirt tucked in Didirri waves to a warm applause followed by instant pin drop silence. Then guitars were screaming and the band was rocking slow. These are the highs and lows Didirri so seamlessly shifts between and despite his acclaimed studio work, his live shows are another beast. 

Didirri has risen to prominence as few artists do from their debut EP. He has just toured Europe, completed a sold-out national tour and leaves for the US on Monday. The band adds a powerful bluesy charm to proceedings shining through in Randy Scouse Git while the lyrics take you to a Bob Dylan-esque dreamscape, followed by crowd favourite Bird Sounds, an ode to living life simply.

Didirri’s charisma and profound revelations are something rarely seen on stage as he shares some very intimate tales in his own humble, unique, rambling way. Furthermore, there were less than a handful of phones out the whole performance, a testament to the respect and frankly, awe the crowd had for this man and his band. 

Daniel O’Keefe let rip some blistering guitar solos and held up harmoniously throughout the rest of the tunes almost stealing the show at times. 

“I’m not into the whole 'walk off stage, you clap and we come back on' thing so we will just play one more,” Didirri endearingly stated after a stunning rendition of Jude, followed by singalong I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head.

Live shows have the power to make or break a band but Didirri and co certainly deliver, producing an experience nothing short of magic. Intensely powerful bluesy rock melts into masterful songcraft and lyricism. It’s an experience all live music lovers should enjoy as Didirri is no doubt on his way to becoming one of Australia’s largest and most beloved exports.