Live Review: Tash Sultana, Lyall Moloney

29 September 2016 | 4:22 pm | Samuel Connor

"She's the rockstar of loop artists."

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A fun game to play when listening to beatboxing artists with drum machines is to try and guess whether the beat of the song is from the machine or from the mouth and tonight this game proves to be difficult.

Clad in a hoodie, felt hat and black skin-tight jeans, self-described "sweaty, bald, white dude" Lyall Moloney rocks the stage as well as the boundaries of genre. His vocals make you think modern indie-folk, his guitar brings up disco and reggae every now and then and occasionally, with the help of Mr Junior, they throw down some bars - all on top of a trap beat from his drum machine (or is it his mouth?). And just when you think he can't do much more, out of nowhere comes a harmonica. Yes, a harmonica. It's a refreshing sound to hear and fits surprisingly well with his occasional shriek - you know, the one that carries such raw emotion? Moloney makes everyone feel some feelings and somehow also makes us dance.

If Moloney's assortment of instruments amazed you, you ain't seen nothing yet. Tash Sultana takes to the stage with such a confident-yet-cheery expression - as you would if you were playing the first of three sold out Melbourne shows. Sultana reflects on how, just a year ago, she was an opening act, but now she's the rockstar of loop artists. With no less than three guitars, an array of effect pedals, a synth, a drum machine, a panpipe and a melodica - that little keyboard that you blow into to produce a sound - Sultana shows that she can not only play them all, but also work with them all. Sultana's songs show her journey over her years, with dedications to people from, as she says, "That motherfucker who told me I breached the sound limit at Bourke Street Mall," to her grandfather who recently passed away and never got to hear a song she wrote for him. When she plays that song, Harvest Love, there are more than a few teary eyes. Going into hits like Notion and Jungle, there are more than a few dancers and when Sultana busts out those ripper guitar solos, there are more than a few people in awe.

Combine all of this with the energy and intimacy she performs with and you have Tash Sultana, Queen of loop and global star.

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