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Live Review: Unity: The Equality Campaign Concert

13 September 2017 | 12:49 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"There was a definite sense of readiness, but also nervousness, with a huge celebration feeling inevitable in the coming months."

More Sarah Blasko More Sarah Blasko

With the marriage equality postal vote being received this week, the scheduling of the Unity concert was timely, albeit nerve-wracking. To show support for the 'Yes' cause, and with donations of ticket sales going directly to Australian Marriage Equality (AME) - the registered charity that co-ordinates the national Equality Campaign - a huge line-up of acts came together to donate their time and music.

To commence proceedings, Aunty Donna welcomed us to the land and Jenny Leong, local Newtown MP, opened the dialogue, calling on everyone to Google where their local post box is and to make a commitment to mailing back the poll, encouraging us to visualise the action.

Mojo Juju was the first musical act of the night and her performance of two heartfelt songs was split by a touching story of her mother's relationship. It would not be the last time that tears would well up in the Enmore. Jack Colwell, co-organiser of the event, performed next in his theatrical style, No Mercy sung with crackling emotion.

Holly Throsby performance was beautiful, particularly older track Now I Love Someone, written about her partner almost ten years ago. What followed was a welcome highlight of the night, as Lindsay McDougall and Jay Whalley of seminal punk band Frenzal Rhomb appeared in acoustic mode to dedicate one their latest tracks, Cunt Act, to the article in the day's paper from Tony Abbott.

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Ella and Jesse Hooper of Killing Heidi fame performed a couple of old favourites along with a smashing cover of Stevie Nicks' Leather And Lace. Lonelyspeck brought a quieter mood with airy, sensitive versions of their tracks, before Andy Bull's magical voice soared through with a cutback version of Baby I Am Nobody Now.

The only full band act of the night came from The Jezabels, who ripped through Endless Summer, Easy To Love and Peace Of Mind, stopping only to say, "It's time." This was the mantra of the evening. There was a definite sense of readiness, but also nervousness, with a huge celebration feeling inevitable in the coming months. Most of the tracks and mood were noticeably downbeat, but an appearance from Olympian Matthew Mitchum lightened things up. Performing with a ukulele, singing in French and telling bad jokes, the crowd enjoyed his all too brief appearance.

Sarah Blasko finished the night with faultless renditions of I Awake, We Won't Run and her own "little" song about equality, I Wanna Be Your Man with video clip cohort, Aaron Manhattan, dancing along on stage. The whole evening wrapped up with a joint finale from most of the performers of Kate Bush's Cloudbusting; a great choice for the final song with its refrain, "I just know that something good is going to happen". It was a hopeful and positive evening that felt like a precursor to the celebratory parties to come.