Ainslie Wills - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Written by Luke Bodley

Ainslie Wills - Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Deary, deary me. A holy cherub, clipped wings, a heaven-song. A brook of light pours from her lips. She rallies the air with her siren; every millimetre of space vibrates in delightful harmony. I float with swimming-ease, feel my hair brush the ceiling. She widens her mouth, the walls buckle and turn to pearl. All of this, all of this and more in a ‘spot of time’.

F**k Ainslie Wills is transcendent live.

I shuffle up Newtown Social Club’s staircase. The outer borders of the crowd begin to expand as I pull Hendricks through my straw. Sydney songstress, Eleanor Dunlop lands behind the stage-piano. Her saccharine voice waltzes with her hands. She has a complex emotionality that is well suited to her jazzy, technical-prowess on the keys. Disguise is a particularly marvellous example of songcraft.

Machine Age follows her and lends his industrialised folk – a meeting of syncopated metal-beats and deft guitar work – to the climbing musical ethos. Adrian is a veritable one-man band. He fiddles with his guitar and gadgets, the organic and the programmed, to produce some lovely music. Chivalry is a standout with an unassuming folk-flecked beginning that suddenly flips into an electro-analog hybrid rich with voice.

Ainslie Wills appears, in this clumsy, unrefined way. It must be part of her schtick – she waddles on stage a human and then bursts divine with a single coo. On Stop Pulling The String, her silver-voice echoes, ‘I’m gonna shout at the stop of my lungs’. And then she wanders like a Wordsworthian Romantic into Hawaii.

The tension-and-then-release structure of the music is masterfully orchestrated, and almost systolic. The muted-bass line, syncopated guitar riffage and angelic singing create these spacious listening-moments. On Constellations Wills’ raw voice starts in a deep, low-register growl and then climbs into a crystalline falsetto. The result is an indescribably numinous experience.

After flittering through her catalogue, Wills returned to the stage to perform a stripped-down version of Sorry My Love. Without the backing of the band, her naked-voice glided. She reached near apotheosis as she lilted, ‘Can you give me your emotions?’

Yes Ainslie. Take all my emotions.

FOR MORE GIG REVIEWS CLICK HERE

Sell tickets with moshtix!

Subscribe to the weekly moshguide!

  • Please enter a valid email address
Find Out How To Win Sonos PLAY:1 Speakers!

Recommendations

Grab 10% off your Oktoberfest in the Gardens tickets thanks to Visa Checkout!