SAFIA - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Written by Shuk-Wah Chung

SAFIA - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Safia are pretty good at playing the clichéd “stadium rock” type band. From the moment the Canberra trio hit the tiny stage at the Newtown Social Club it’s a non-stop assortment of energetic dance moves and typical phrases. From call and response anthems to the proverbial “SYDNEY!” shout outs, their clichéd sarcasm is charming.

But their ability to make the entire audience at their sold-out show bounce – not clichéd at all. Supported by (the very SEO unfriendly name of) East, this solo artist is one to look out for. Hailing from the Central Coast her blend of sample laden indie rock, combined with her powerful vocal range and energetic stage presence gives her the sparkle of a fresh, confident and promising artist. And at apparently only 17 years of age there’s undoubtedly an untapped resource of success waiting for this young talent.

When Safia appears they do so in of course a “stadium rock” like-style. The curtains close, darkening the room; and as they open it slowly fills the space with a bright white light like an alien presence emerging from the sky. The band warm up the crowd with an electronic dance intro, before moving into the dramatic and brooding Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues. The crowd erupts.

From there the energy is consistent. Playing other songs from their catalogue including Tear It Down; Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds; and Take Me Over, their track with fellow Canberra peers Peking Duk, they lead the crowd into a jumping frenzy as singer Ben Woolner moves his mic back and forth encouraging the crowd to “sing with me”.

Woolner announces they’ll be playing some new songs, and let’s us in on a little secret: when most bands say that it’s their first time playing new material to an audience, it’s bulls**t. “But this is actually the first time we’ve played these songs and you are the first guys to hear it!” says Woolner.

Judging by the sounds, including their next single Embracing Me, Safia’s new material will be filled with the same amount of energy and infectious beats that we expect.

Image: SAFIA @ Newtown Social Club 30/04/15 / Pic Maria Boyadgis


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