Celia Pavey’s newest project, Vera Blue, is currently touring to celebrate the release of her debut EP, Fingertips, and she’s absolutely kicking ass doing it.
Before Vera Blue graced the stage, we heard from WA artist Matt Gresham. His music covered a wide range of genres and every song seemed to remind me of a different artist, from Matt Corby to Boy & Bear, from Of Monsters and Men to Ed Sheeran. The very talented vocalist played his new single, ‘Ghost’, released the night before, and it was clear he was having fun up on stage, always smiling and fist-bumping with his highly skilled, multi-tasking bandmate, “The Amazing Luke”.
By the time Vera Blue came out, the Shebeen Bandroom was packed to capacity and everyone was buzzing. Her band started things off, creating a sort of ambience to fill the room, before jumping straight into the popular recent single, ‘Settle’. The performance set the tone early, breaking away from how the song is recorded and adding extra little touches, like an almost scat-like jazzy breakdown, showing off an incredibly high vocal range in the process. ‘Fingertips’ up next brought a tambourine into the equation, sparking an onstage energy that made its way through the crowd before fading beautifully to the lyrics “and I know we can harbour our lust”.
The fun kept coming with an upbeat cover of Gorillaz’s ‘Feel Good Inc’, seeing Vera Blue jumping around with the synth board, and lights and silhouettes contrasting in the finale. The crowd was attentive and adoring but too quiet, although she gave us an out with “… it is Tuesday”, but still did enough to prompt some noise. Vera Blue talked about the writing process of her EP, having Gossling help with ‘Turn’, which was performed with a hell of a lot of emotion, before grabbing her guitar and transitioning straight into ‘Patterns’ with its heavy beats and nodding heads. By now, the room had reached sauna levels of stuffiness and it could clearly be felt up on stage. “Are you guys hot?” “Yeah you are.” 😉
A couple of new songs, ‘First Week’ and ‘Privates’ sandwiched her Like A Version cover of Jack Garratt’s ‘Breathe Life’. The former was a groovy and upbeat heartbreak song, with the music often juxtaposing the lyrics, and the latter had chord progressions and electronic influences reminiscent of Garratt’s album Phase. The cover itself was the highlight for me, with some ridiculously high notes sparking a wild response from the crowd as she absolutely nailed it. A final thank you before playing her last and probably most popular song ‘Hold’. It was the perfect way to finish.
Being a Tuesday night, most patrons dispersed quickly but, with the promise of Vera Blue and the band talking to the crowd, we hung around. It was really nice to have a quick chat with Celia, and then to have a talk with Sam and Dan (the drummer from Art vs. Science – pretty cool) at the bar upstairs. Kudos, guys!
Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Latest EP: Settle, released 13 May 2016
Sounds like: Gossling, BOO SEEKA
Say what? Track 3 of her EP (both physical and digital editions) was accidentally an instrumental version. This has now been fixed but, if you bought an EP before they fixed it, you should hold onto it. Collector’s edition!