LIVE REVIEW: Adrian Dzvuke @ Mojo's Fremantle
R&B singer Adrian Dzvuke brought his signature energy and infectious rhythms to Mojo’s on Friday night, supported by a solo set from Jamilla and the rambunctious neo-jazz of Butter. Celebrating new single ‘One Time’, Dzvuke and his band filled the space with joy and dancing, with well-crafted music performed with ease and fun. With slots opening for POND and new releases upcoming, Dzvuke looks set to be a household name in Perth, despite only starting to perform last year. With his talent, it’s not hard to understand why.
Jamilla started things off with a skilful solo set, performing a range of new and older tracks. She’s deservedly beloved in Perth, with her clear tones, thoughtful, concise lyricism and a unique R&B sound. Alternating between an electric guitar and a synth board, she effortlessly set the mood. Highlights included ‘Bloom’ – a defiant anthem against colourism – and the slower, more vulnerable ‘Beautiful’. Fresh off an appearance at Big Sound with new song ‘She’ on the rise, Jamilla seems set on the way to big things.
Butter, another Perth act who recently graced Big Sound Festival, crashed onto stage with their usual high energy and masterful mix of sounds. Singles ‘Butch & Bobbito’ and ‘Hocus Pocus’ are infinitely catchy and surprising (with experimentations in rhythm and FX) while ‘Daydreams’ incorporates spoken word and makes the most of lead singer Lachlan Payet’s deep, textured vocals. Combining jazz, hip hop and funk into a unique set, Butter proved again why they’re one of Perth’s fastest-rising acts.
Adrian Dzvuke started off with a rousing rendition of single ‘All or Nothing’. Accompanied by a five-piece band, all skilled musicians, the mood was loose and joyful. The audience surged close to the stage, dancing and singing along with enthusiasm. Dzvuke incorporated the crowd effortlessly, strutting and bantering with confidence. ‘Saturday’ followed, with a killer bass solo, and infectious hooks.
Newest single ‘One Chance’ – in what Dzvuke noted was a debut performance – was rousing and infectious, with an irresistibly cheeky energy. Having the spotlight on R&B and Afrobeats – genres that can be overlooked – was refreshing and well-deserved. Dzvuke’s performance might have looked effortless to onlookers, but it clearly was the result of hard work, practice and skilled songwriting. To make something so well-received (3 thousand streams in one day, as Dzvuke said proudly) is much more difficult than people might appreciate. And the ability to “turn a shit time” (as Dzvuke said) into a thoughtful, groovy track is even rarer.
Closing track ‘More’ served as an extended showcase for both Dzvuke and his band, extending the instrumental and letting each musician take the spotlight. Dzvuke danced and chatted, letting the music flow and morph, working in tandem with the crowd. By the time the night came to a close, the audience seemed pleasantly exhausted.
Dzvuke had delivered a set that never wavered in energy, musicianship and good vibes – doubly impressive considering his relative newness to the live performance circuit. It’s doubtless only the start of a bright future, and many more shows and songs to come.