OLYMPIA @ Mojos gets 8/10

Olympia @ Mojos Bar

w/ Felicity Groom
Thursday, October 11, 2018


Sometimes I’ll go to a gig having only heard of their name and seeing their tour poster. It’s like reading the first page of a book instead of reading the blurb, you get a very, very small insight as to what is to come and something pulls you into making that decision. Olympia was one of those decisions and a correct one at that when she blew away any lack of expectation at Mojos last Thursday night.

Catching the support Felicity Groom saw some aggressive drumming that (without my wanting to sound old and boring) hurt my ears and my eyes. Their sound was an old western saloon shootout, cowboy vs cowboy that had a strong vigor and drive. Into the slower songs I had visions of the Nevada desert and a sense of painful longing. Not entirely in my realm but most in attendance seemed to like their ideas.

So with no expectations I readied myself for the headliner, Olympia. It was her dramatised rock style that got me listening, and enjoyably listening. Her vocal stamina was outstanding to say the least and the influence of Kate Bush, the look of Kate Miller-Heidke and a similar stage presence to Stella Donnelly meant most of the crowd were heavily fixated on her.

Starting out early with Star City, she had the crowd dancing around to the pop rock favourite which sounded exactly as the recording did – except there was the adrenaline of it being live and the excitement of her giving it everything. Somewhere to Disappear showed off that range of hers and it was inevitable to sway along and maybe rest your head on someone’s shoulder.

With a little bit of conversation in between songs, she told us the true story of Larry Waters –  a man who attached a bunch of helium balloons to his chair, reached air space, was arrested and eventually committed suicide. After playing the analogue synthy-feeling Self-Talk she asked us what the moral of the story was and with a few shout outs such as “don’t try!” or “your dreams are never worth it” it was a dark yet humorous comment on the emptiness of achievement.

Credit also must be given to her belter of a band, the bassist was super into the groove and the drummer was so delicately succinct, whilst the keys provided nice backing and beautiful harmonies in the gentler of songs.

Olympia plain rocked. Everything from her shred solos to her sometimes rambling, but also hilarious banter to her cool glittering knee high boots to her tight knit band. She killed it in most regards and you can really foresee some bigger things opening up in the next year – actually I’m surprised they haven’t already, to be honest.

Words and photos by MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES