Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Empra - Rebecca Single Launch at Revolver Night Club

Empra is a band who`s music invokes a sense of joy in me. To these old ears at least there is an air of optimism and celebration in the music they make. Maybe I`m way off the mark, but that’s what I hear and that’s the message that resounds most for me listening to the band’s music.

``I Won`t Give Up``, a track from the band`s debut album (not played on this night) is one that has pretty much ingrained itself in me. Throughout those awkward moments in life that get to us all, that’s the one song that I crank up loud to blast the blues away with. It is a fantastic affirmative discharge!  I once asked former band member Matt Gault about this track in a radio interview we did a couple of years back, and he told me, that for him, it kind of exemplified the Empra philosophy of positivity.

The latest Empra single ``Rebecca`` has been on constant replay in my humble musically cluttered abode and has become a staple on the community radio shows that I host of late.

 ``Rebecca`` possesses a massive fat sound, lyrically it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and it has a soaring unforgettable quality that ingrains itself further with every listen.

Melbourne`s Revolver nightclub on Saturday September 19 played host to the Melbourne launch for ``Rebecca``. It was also the final show of a five week tour by Empra, and was the bands final show before they head to the U.S for 6 weeks. It has also been billed as Empra`s last Australian show for many months.

I got to the venue around 9.00PM to be greeted by my friend Fernando who is the drummer for incredibly eccentric hard/punk/heavy Melbourne rockers Bricks. Sadly he informed me that I had just missed his other band, Lieutenant Jam, play their set. I hate it when that happens! I`d mistakenly assumed that doors at 8.00PM meant first band at 9.00PM. That’s how it rolls in Central Victoria…Yes indeed; it is with good reason that my young son is most fond of calling me Daddy Doofus.

Tasmania`s Verticoli is a young band who`s exceptional new album ``Punching Bag`` I`ve been enjoying enormously of late.  This is a band that is earning their way through relentless gigging and a profound determination to push through and get heard. This old school approach appears to be paying off for this exceptionally gifted band. Man I gotta say, Verticoli are tight! Being blessed as they are with such impressive material and a dynamic, yet low key charisma. This is a band I do hope to see achieve great things.

There is one thing that strikes me as most obvious as Empra take to the stage, and that is that this is a band that most genuinely loves what they do.

 There is no faking the smiles emanating from the stage, nor the positive nervous energy that abounded so magnificently throughout a set that flies by way too fast; yet which bears notice to the fact that this is a band abundant in great songs…Truly great songs! Yes they are a powerful live band! But, at the heart of Empra is a wonderful knack of writing marvellous songs that draw from a variety of influences and styles.

Opening with the sublimely beautiful `Sabrina` Empra then took us on a wondrous musical journey that incorporated a lot of high energy power pop, rock & roll and the raucously jubilant lady of the night ``Rebecca`` and of course a rousing chill the fuck out singalong before culminating in an epic ``Only Love`` that saw singer/guitarist Sanny Veloo join the audience for a truly magical communal choir gathering.

At nights end I was reaffirmed of the fact that Empra make music that makes me happy. I know that happy isn`t an emotion that is looked upon with cool idyll…But fuck that shit! I`m an old music nerd, a bit of a hippy tragic at heart…and if happy it is, well so be it. I wear happy with great pride.

That live music experience never gets old for me.

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