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Live Review: Tom West, Oscar Lush, Jon Mortimer

7 July 2015 | 1:56 pm | Taylor Yates

"Thanks for coming into this gloomy room on a sunny day. So I’m gonna play a few songs on my own, just ‘cause I wanna," Tom West says.

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There are only two people in the room at the start time of 1.30pm and Jon Mortimer’s running late. The sound guy wanders over and tells us that there’s been a time mix-up, while Jake Bugg’s music plays in the background. Twenty minutes later, Mortimer is ready to go and starts off with Drink Up. The lyrics to his songs are super cliché to the point of cringe-worthy (for example: “Some say she was a taxi, she took him for a ride”), but his slow, delicate vocal melodies help to balance it out, coupled with his acoustic tone.

A short time later, Oscar Lush takes to the stage and some of us notice he has a harmonica around his neck, coupled with a bit of a country twang to his tunes. His voice is deeper and more soulful than the previous act, but most of us are just standing around talking during his set. It’s a strong and powerful sound, but doesn’t really capture you.

Ten minutes early, Tom West and two of his band members begin playing a slow song with gorgeous vocal harmonies. There’s a surprising number of people in the room for a gig that was meant to start at 1.30pm, but West introduces us to his band anyway, saying, “These are my friends Ryan and Todd. They’re alright,” to a few laughs, and notes the absence of their drummer. West then says, “Thanks for coming into this gloomy room on a sunny day. So I’m gonna play a few songs on my own, just ‘cause I wanna. These are pretty new, so there’s a good chance I’ll fuck this up,” and plays High Again and Icarus. “Hey, my friends are back! That’s great. Heeeey guys,” West says as the other two members walk back on stage and they play The Call, which West tells us “isn’t about much… sadly” before launching into Easy, Love. There’s a bit of stage banter while West retunes his guitar and they decide we’re a tough crowd (and must be Essendon fans), before strumming out a few more to close on a cute little song called I Drank All The Rum. After his set, a punter who is sitting on the floor yells out for him to play another song, and with a raised eyebrow, he agrees, and plays one more before we all trickle back outside.