Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. There was a lot I wanted to tell you. But my car got bogged, so I’ll say this.
Leon Bridges. Lights, ‘Bad Bad News’. “They try to tell me I was born to lose,” the words are leaping out off of his lips. This Texan doesn’t move, he snakes. Smoothly.
The band are pros they play like machines, but they can swing. No longer are the band pulsing on a stratospheric funk groove, lounge vibrations overtake. Everyone’s dancing.
The group cuts into ‘Brown Skin Girl’. Bridges can turn on the charm. Lay it on… when he feels it. He slows down a little when he gets stuck into the standards. More sleek than volcanic but OK. Guy can emote. He’s got soul.
“Bloozfest y’all with me?”
‘River’ is greeted with hushed awe. There’s more than 95 thousand people that are going to be within this festival over the next five days, but it feels like they’re all here now. Acts usually play twice at this festival. Immediately you want to see Bridges again.
Tash Sultana, is she from this planet? Tash informs the audience she’s back from South America. Despite aspirations of taking it easy she’s been all over this year. As an artist, she’s only amplified as she’s grown in stature. Twenty-two and larger than life.
Some artists attack their music in a passionate blur. Tash is different, she plays fast and dexterous. Watching her is like seeing things unfurling in slow motion. She jams, temporarily taking her focus off of signature fretwork to beat down keys or trumpet. But let’s be real. It’s guitar heroics which set this crowd alight.
New Power Generation, Prince’s famed backing group, are something else. They’re tight, rendering Diamonds and Pearls plus [Love Sign] tunes with typical flair. There’s a few -okay a lot – of classics thrown in there too.
They shake their heads and sweat. The energy is just shooting out. Their reputation is that of the tightest band that Prince has ever played with and it’s well deserved.
While ‘Kiss’ lifts the energy to a fever pitch tracks like ‘Money Don’t Know’ sets the crowd alight. Paisley anthems all. Gratification of the senses. I want to take this group in a few more times - they’re playing three of the five days of Blues -before letting you in. So, read on. We’re here for another four. There’s more to come.
Review By - Riley Fitzgerald
Photography by Alix Mckenzie