Live Review: SAFIA, Boo Seeka, Eilish Gilligan

10 September 2019 | 10:37 am | Michael Prebeg

"Laser lights and sci-fi visuals illuminate the venue to make us feel as if we’re lost in space."


We’re drawn towards the stage as we hear Eilish Gilligan's magnetic falsetto. The singer wears her heart on her sleeve as she twirls around the stage, her powerful voice soaring high over shimmering ‘80s-pop synths. We lose ourselves on the dancefloor to warm indie-pop melodies bursting with theatrical emotion and introspective lyrics. There’s no doubt that Gilligan is a local rising star to watch. She leaves us with a lasting impression and songs we just can’t get out of our head.

Electric duo Boo Seeka raise the roof with an incredibly energetic vibe. Their layered soundscape is a hypnotic blend of psych-soul, hip hop and dreamy electronic synths that command us to groove, anthemic choruses on hits like Ruler and Rush charming the audience right away. Lead singer Ben Gumbleton lets loose as he chugs a bottle of red wine and asks the audience for a spare hair-tie for his long, wild locks. His soulful vocals wash over the top of catchy drum rhythms and a brand new song even sees him try his hand at the keyboard. During one song towards the end of their set, the stage lights switch off so punters can light up the theatre with their phone torches as they wave their arms from side to side in celebration.

Laser lights and sci-fi visuals illuminate the venue to make us feel as if we’re lost in space. We watch a War Of The Worlds-style alien invasion play out on the backdrop and SAFIA take us on an interstellar journey for their new record, Story's Start Or End.

Triple j is recording tonight and we make a lot of noise – we want to hear ourselves on the radio loud and clear. Lead singer Ben Woolner’s vocals are flawless and his superb falsetto sends shivers down our spines. His beautifully delivered soft, rich vocals are the perfect contrast to the electronic dance beats. Even though it may seem like there are only three people on stage performing tonight, Woolner explains that this world-class production is very much the product of the efforts a larger team.

A few lines of Britney Spears’ Oops!... I Did It Again lead into Counting Sheep. The tempo builds up and explodes at all the right moments and the crowd jump up and down to the infectious beats. An encore, beginning with an electronic instrumental, transitions into their beloved hit Embracing Me. The catchy, indie-electro-pop track to instantly lift our spirits before they conclude the night with the title track from Story’s Start Or End.