VICTORIA UNIVERSITY SHOWCASE AT BENNETTS LANE
The big room at Bennetts was packed to hear the new talent on the block from VU, with undergraduates and returning graduates of music performance courses.
I missed the first set, from the Lorraine Anne Quartet — Lorraine Anne (vocals), Fionn O’Sullivan (piano), Ben Salvador (bass) and Nathan Power (drums) — but the applause was loud so it must have been well received.
Yanina Oliver with her quartet
Next up came Luna and Skye, with Yanina Oliver (vocals/drums), Fionn O’Sullivan (piano), Luke Anticevic (guitar) and Ben Salvador (bass) performing an original compositional project called “The Story of Annabelle Charlesworth”.
I’m not sure I grasped much of Annabelle’s life story, but it is impressive that students are involved in developing such projects. The notes handed out, which I saw after, serve only to add to the intrigue. O’Sullivan on piano and Oliver on drums and vocals were the standouts in this group, especially Oliver’s voice. There seemed to be power and presence in her voice, but her vocal contribution was restrained, in keeping with the piece.
Two graduates — guitarists Matthew Erickson and Michael Hanley — performed three original pieces as Du Gitaristo (apparently Esperanto). Both showed great technical ability and finesse.
Next, the Louise Joy Quintet, Louise Joy on vocals, Daniel Grey on piano, Michael Pateras on guitar, Marc Clemente on electric bass and Yanina Oliver on drums played their version of the nineties White Town hit Your Woman. They left us wanting more. Joy was feisty in her delivery as she sang “So cut the crap and tell me that you’re through” and clearly has the ability to grab the attention of an audience. But how did she injure her finger? Was she telling someone “I could never be your woman” and they took it hard? Yanina Oliver was again a hit on drums.
Louise Joy Quintet
Louise Joy Quintet
Circulation, with Caleb Garfinkel on guitar and laptop, Bryce Clark on piano and Nathan Power on drums, took things in the direction of new music with a coherent, engrossing piece, which developed slowly.
This evening showed that a lot of talented young musicians, including composers, are emerging from VU. It augurs well, but we need more people to fill our many fine venues.