LIVE REVIEW: Start Over Summer with Ziggy Alberts
It’s not every Friday night that a beautiful (completely no bias whatsoever here), talented, blonde grom gets up on a Perth stage, with a guitar or three, and serenades a crowd of hundreds with songs of soul and sea… but this is precisely what occurred last Friday night at Ziggy Alberts’ Start Over Summer Tour at the Rosemount Hotel in West Perth.
Now, there are intimate venues, and then there is Rosie’s bargain basement where my sweat is your sweat and your sweat is my sweat even though we only met fifteen minutes ago. After being branded with a ‘bootleg’ stamp and herded inside like cattle last night I can say without malice I will not be attending the venue again. If you thoroughly enjoy dark, humid spaces that can be likened to slaughterhouses or (God forbid) public change rooms, then this is a must-attend, but if not, like myself, stay well away. Enough bitterness though, and on with the show because HOLY MACKEREL WHAT A SHOW IT WAS!
Ziggy may come across as soft-spoken on his records but damn that boy knows how to belt out a tune. Bringing out an electric guitar during 'Warm Coffee' and having an audience drunkenly and discordantly 'singing' along makes for one rowdy folk party. Security guards cast evils around the room as concertgoers stamped and danced aggressively in the minimal space provided, but nothing can stop an enthusiastic bunch of millennials once the frontman plays their song. He combined all three of his albums in a set list that could’ve made Hades weep, or groove with joy at the very least — and so cry and laugh we did. He brought a song for all listeners; hardcore Ziggy lovers, ‘fake’ fans, and reluctant +1s, with a mix of greatest hits, lesser knowns and a cover of Ben Howard’s ‘Only Love’ to spice it up a little.
Unexpectedly, a rare and precious authenticity swept over the room as he told the stories of loss and heartbreak behind much of his music. Like a majority of musicians his work is born in times of strong emotion, often rising phoenix-like from the ashes of past relationships. He credits 'Warm Coffee' to an ex-lover saying 'none of this would have happened if not for all the love... and all the torment she gave me.’ The flocks of girls, and guys alike, cheered and clapped, thanking the fates that had brought such heartbreak to this warm soul, knowing that had his story been anything else their ears would not have been graced with such glorious music.
If it did not come naturally to a socially awkward, homeschooled boy like him at first, his onstage improvisation had been refined over the 46 shows he performed before this one. He made you forget and remember in just the right moments, playing hearts, dare I say it, better than his guitar, and it was incredible to behold.
Vulnerability on stage and dashing good looks allow Ziggy to conduct his audience at will, and he uses this power for good. He brings a message of encouragement and growth with his latest album Four Feet In The Forest, the opening track being ‘Start Over’, after which the tour is named. As an environmentalist and all round good guy he preaches kindness, to our planet and to each other, and tells boys to ‘man the f*ck up properly’ with his song ‘Tell Me’, an eye-opener about depression and the adverse effects of bottling up emotion.
Ziggy evokes such passion that a girl beside me decided on the spot she had to drive an extra 45 minutes after the show just to tell her boyfriend she loves him. That, my friends, is something our world needs more of; spontaneity and heart, and this busker boy advocates both. Take your nearest and dearest to this show, the car ride home will be one of raw bliss, and don’t be surprised if a couple of midis in you start spilling your life story to the closest listening ear.