Nicholas Roy @ Revolver Upstairs (with Hunter Adams and Dr Malone) – 8 Nov ’13

Heading up the stairs to Revolver offered a welcomed respite and escape from Chapel St below, and opens to a curious night of music, some familiar but with the anticipation of some new sounds too.

After Fugitive and Top of the World, Hunter Adams claimed she felt like she was in her living room. Given the intimate crowd and random collection of couches strewn around the room we could very well have been. With cruisy acoustic pop sounds, the lyrical beauty of New Orleans captured undivided attention, and showcased a gem that came from an intense, albeit brief period of creative inspiration. Further listening required here, starting with the EP

If the party started in the lounge, it may have convincingly made its way to the backyard on a weekend afternoon had the lights been a little brighter once Dr Malone hit the stage. Between jovial in-band banter on stage and cries of, ‘How does that one go?’ trying to remember songs, the air was filled with some catchy roots sounds, mixed with blues, a little twang, and some rock. Believer was particularly infectious, and appropriately spruiked for an iTunes download.

Having previously seen Nicholas Roy solo, it was refreshing to see a filled stage with accompanying drums, guitar and bass for a fuller sound. Judging by the predominantly uptempo set the fun and laid back vibe already experienced on the night prevailed. The familiar dominated the start of the set including ‘Taxi’ and Black Dog. The fuller band sound definitely added to a more dynamic, and chilled performance from the intensity of past solo performances.

That’s not to say that things didn’t get shaken up a little, with the inclusion of a stellar cover of The Smiths’ There is a Light that Never Goes Out. Hearing new material that hasn’t been played live before (2100 stars) is an added bonus too. But the true magic of a live performance is the unexpected, in this instance the proposition of turning everything on stage off for an unplugged version of Ghost down amongst the people. Not only something different, but a striking display of vocal skill and tone.

A small venue and crowd was no obstacle to an encore with pleas for ‘one more song’ granted with ‘Undercover’ rounding out the evening, sending everyone on their merry way down the stairs at the end of the night.

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