There’s nothing more disappointing to me than an empty bandroom. So when I walked in to the Workers Club and AViVAA were playing to less than ten people I couldn’t help but feel bad, but if the small crowd was bothering them the Sydney four piece didn’t let it affect their performance. Their music seems to draw from various inspirations so, while it has a very indie pop vibe, vocalist Aviva Payne adds some soul influence while some of the guitar parts feel a lot like something from Foals. They looked like they were having fun on stage as well, which definitely made it easier to watch.

The room filled up a bit more for Dear Plastic, who wasted no time kicking off with ‘Antimatter.’ The high energy opener had Danny Cox and Cory Mollison on bass and drums perfectly in time with their syncopated rhythms underneath the swirling synths and Scarlette Baccini’s soaring vocals. Their set kept up with the tone established in the first two tracks, with the synths holding together the guitars and vocals. Recent single ‘Buck Up and Pay The Reaper’ was one of the darker highlights and they closed with their optimistic debut single, ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses.’

The crowd packed in for Yuko Nishiyama and she didn’t disappoint, opening strong with ‘Push’ from the album and following it up with ‘Old Crown.’ Nishiyama’s vocals were spectacular from the opening note, and the band were on point. From the third song on though it seemed like all the slower songs were grouped together so, despite the band and Nishiyama sounding fantastic, it was difficult to stay connected as the energy dropped. Of course, that could just have been where I was standing and the constant jostling of punters trying to get to the bar. I’m not complaining though, the set was still enjoyable and Nishiyama has a great style, much more intelligent and honest sounding than a lot of pop music at the moment. She also somewhat made up for everything, bringing the energy back up and closing with the title track of her new album, ‘Parade,’ which itself is well worth the listen.

Wes Fahey


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