LIVE REVIEW: Hein Cooper @ Mojo's Bar
After touring Europe in June, Friday night saw Sydney-based singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed ‘bogan from the south of New South Wales’ Hein Cooper paying a visit to Mojo’s, one of North Fremantle’s cosiest bars. Joining him were two opening acts: WA’s Grace Armstrong, and South East Queensland’s Leonie Kingdom.
Mojo’s, upon entry, has a cosy and warm feeling in its air — making it the perfect venue for the live music on offer that evening. The neon lights on stage softly add colour to the room which helped with the mood of the performances. The stage, which is on the smaller side, is located in the corner of the room — which created quite an open atmosphere, allowing all to get a good view of the artist no matter where they were.
Grace Armstrong was the first opening act of the night. The Balingup pop/rock folk artist had an angelic voice and her songs were raw, to say the least, as she sang confidently whilst playing her guitar. Grace sang songs from her debut EP Good Fortunes, which was released in August of last year, including the pondering track ‘Why Do Birds Fly’, which was my personal favourite. She expressed gratitude towards the crowd, which she stated was much bigger than she had been expecting.
The second opening act was Leonie Kingdom, whose songs were deep and emotional, causing an occurrence of eyebrow raises throughout the crowd as her intense vocals spread across the room. She explained the meaning of each song she performed, including ‘Night Terrors’ which explores the difficulties of her experience with sleep paralysis and nightmares. She also performed a cover of ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, which sparked singing-along and dancing from the majority of the crowd. Leonie was a deeply emotional and unique performer and judging by how touched everyone was, she displayed her style and raw messages smoothly.
Finally, the man himself, Hein Cooper, took to the stage and caused an uproar of cheers to emit from the lively crowd. With him were his guitar, a loop pedal and a Midi beat controller which, when combined, create the ability for Hein to mix beats, strums, and finger-pickings of his guitar together to create a layered song without the use of a proper band. From the moment he walked on stage, he gave off a confident but laidback vibe and didn’t take himself too seriously.
The crowd simply loved what Hein Cooper had to share. The passionate screams and singing along were uplifting and received gratefully by Hein, who stated that he wished he could come to Perth more often.
Hein’s vocals are even more breathtaking in real life than they are when they’re heard digitally. He performed many of his well-loved tracks such as ‘Rusty’ and ‘Invincible’, as well as his Like A Version cover of Lily Allen’s ‘The Fear’ with another female singer. His final song was the upbeat ‘Like That’, which had the whole room singing and dancing along to the catchy chorus.
Hein then said his goodbyes and walked off stage — but of course, the crowd wanted more. Following the enthusiastic ‘‘one more song’ chants, Hein found himself back on stage, performing ‘The Art Of Escape’ which he stated was the “first song [he] ever properly released.” After a few technical complications within the middle of his performance, he laughed it off and continued to play the song smoothly to the end.
The relaxed and cheeky attitude of Hein Cooper was received positively by the lively crowd, and the night was full of laughs as he shared wacky stories he had gathered during his past tours.
Finally, Hein delivered a great message overall to the crowd, and shared some uplifting advice: “It’s not about where you are or where you end up being, as much as it’s about just being around people who actually know you for who you are — that’s where you’ll find a home.”
Miraculous talent aside, it was revelations like this that left the whole crowd — including myself — speechless.