El Grotto was pumping for a cool Wednesday night, and it was clear why when the music started playing. First up was Ben Swanson, this guy had an awesome vibe. He played covers like ‘Keep Your Head Up’ by Ben Howard and ‘Hoops’ by The Rubens. I got wind that this was this guys first gig which was pretty incredible news, he had plenty of support from the crowd, singing along with him most of the way, and he seemed perfectly comfortable on stage. The most impressive part of the night was his awesome rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley and the ‘Kids’ (MGMT), ‘Is This Love’ (Bob Marley and The Wailers) and ‘Ignition Remix’ (R Kelly) mash up at the end of his set! The guy was called back for an encore which he truly deserved!
Second was the beautiful Meg Wheeler, having seen this girl play an acoustic session it was cool to see her plugged and playing a gorgeous bluesy, electric styled first half. Her captivating and flawless vocals reminds me of Emma Louise mixed with the soul of Corinne Bailey Rae. The second half of the set she picked the acoustic back up and played us some effortless slap guitar. For only 19 this girl is seriously killing it, she ended her set with a wonderful cover of ‘Cyclone’ by Sticky Fingers.
Next up was Henry Clarke, he had some interesting tones happening with the effects pedals and stomp box he had set up. This guy rocked barefoot and sang in Buckley style angelic tones while rocking a Mac Demarco kind of stease. He sang a lullaby track about halfway through his set that quite literally could have put me to sleep for months, so beautiful! He brought the vibes back up with awesome acoustic/stompbox covers of ‘One More Time’ by Daft Punk and ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ by Stardust. With the combination of the loops and the delay/reverb/vintage effects on the vocals, this guy has a really cool live vibe.
Headlining the night was Riley Pearce, this guy supported Ziggy Alberts earlier in the year and what a perfect way to describe him! With coastal chill tones and more flawless vocals Riley played mostly original tracks like track 1 from his album ‘Outside The Lines’, 'Brave'. He slipped in a cheeky cover of ‘Up Up and Away’ by Kid CuDi which was a really cool arrangement. Then he sat down and asked the people in the front to sit too, this really set the scene for what was about to come. He played some incredibly beautiful slap guitar tracks that blew everyone away, he had everyone captivated.
Every single one of these acts is worth checking out. The local presence is Perth always surprises and blows me away!
Check them out here!
Ben Swanson - www.youtube.com/channel/UC4wV6L08GS10y7YLRqjVqQg
Meg Wheeler - www.facebook.com/megwheelermusic97/
Henry Clarke - www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/henry-clarke
Riley Pearce - www.rileypearce.com.au
Reviewer - Keeley Connolly