The Liquid Project @ Rosemount Hotel
w/ Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics, King Ibis, Freehand
Friday, December 18, 2020
Since forming just 12 months ago local act The Liquid Project have become a welcome addition to Perth’s stages and stereos. Their three singles to date have showcased their colourful blend of soul, funk and disco grooves, which have culminated in the release of their debut self-titled album and corresponding launch show at Rosemount Hotel on Friday night.
Opening the evening were the smooth and jazzy sounds of Freehand. The seven-piece rewarded the early crowds with a set highlighted by delicate keys and melodic passages on the brass backed by drums that playfully picked up and relaxed the intensity and tempo of the music throughout. The vocals from Gem Addison were on the money too, blending both elegance and attitude seamlessly in the vein of contemporary neo-soul acts like Demon Days and Haitus Kaiyote.
Next up were King Ibis, who delivered a set that was more direct but no less enchanting. Frontwoman Nadene Burchell was the centrepiece of the music behind the mic on the rhythm guitar, while intricate lead riffs, rollicking bass and crisp drumming all followed her lead. The songs cascaded between moments of reflective melancholy and soaring, expressive vocals reminiscent of Middle Kids or Big Thief. The growing crowd were clearly getting drawn into the songs too, with Burchell complimenting them for the “beautiful harmonies down the front.”
Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics were the perfect act to follow on and kick things up another notch. Irresistibly dancy, sassy and fun, Odette Mercy demanded the attention of the Main Room, shaking and moving through hits like Baby and You Lose. While it was hard to take your eyes off the frontwoman herself, there was no shortage of delightful contributions from the band. The twin attack of saxophones provided rich and intricate melodies, while the bass was suitably high in the mix for the funk to really pump through you. The drumming was dazzling and dynamic, flicking the switch from bouncy and uptempo to subdued in the right moments, especially on the more tender When You Say My Name. Truly in the spirit of the occasion, Odette Mercy expressed her excitement about the upcoming “Main Event,” an excitement that was tangibly infectious through the crowd.
Following such quality acts was a lot to live up to for the headliners, but The Liquid Project owned the occasion. With an expanded line up of 11 members they came on stage sporting black and white The Liquid Project t-shirts and all looked the part. With such a bountiful assortment of musicians, the Rosemount Hotel sound team did a stellar job in giving each member the space they needed, both physically and sonically, to play with freedom and flair.
The crowd was all warmed up by this point and obliged the band’s requests for them to dance. The horn section operated like a team within a team, exchanging passages on the trombone, sax and trumpet. The dual percussion kept things rollicking along while the band’s lead composer and keys player Yoann Degioanni treated his keyboard like a dancefloor for his fingers.
The two vocalists Daisy Fanning and Lucy Iffla complemented each other well taking turns to show their impressive vocal ranges. Popular single For You translated as well on stage as it does on record with the bass line navigating the way through a sparkling display of musical and vocal expositions. The Liquid Project then closed the night with a rousing rendition of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough before the whole team gathered for a collective bow to the applauding crowd. Like all the acts of the evening, The Liquid Project rose to the occasion, performing with a spirit of generosity and community that translated to everyone that attended.