Vera Blue at the Shebeen Bandroom

New South Wales producer Vera Blue announced her tour to support her new EP Fingertips after a much-admired performance on Triple J’s Like A Version.  Vera’s rendition of Jack Garrat’s Breathe Life in the studio was a preview of what her EP Settle would bring, with stunning vocals and the folky touch she brings to every piece. Melbourne’s Shebeen Bandroom held three sold out shows last week, indicating the following the young artist already had.

Entering Shebeen for the first time was a bit of an adventure, just off Manchester lane in the city the dim lighting of a bar was visible from the otherwise empty alleyway. From the entrance I was pointed to the back of the bar, turn right down the stairs and left into a side door. The band room was small and cosy, another bar ran along one side, and stairs along the back for seating.

First act, The Outdoor Type, began with incredible vocals from the lead singer, ballad style songs reminiscent of thick pine forests and smoky fires. Matt Gresham played next after a short break with more strong vocals and powerful lyrics, tilting more towards Vera Blue’s light electronic folk style.

Finally it was Vera’s turn, the room was packed full of groups of punters, old and young, most clutching an amber beer bottle and all facing the small stage, awaiting the appearance of the red-headed musician. She opened with Settle setting the pace for the rest of the set. After another of her own songs she played a cover of the Gorrilaz Feel Good Inc., synonymous with the quality of her Like A Version, Vera put her own unique style on the song whist still celebrating the Gorillaz.  The flow of her songs was a soothing hour-long set of folk vocals riding on waves of subtle electronica. Her lyrics alone are as powerful as her energy, which she communicated across to the audience as she continually spoke with them, rather than at them, urging them closer to the front and announcing how humbled she is to be playing to a sold out room. Her bouncing shock of hair kept the audience bouncing along with her throughout the performance. Announcing she would be playing her well-known Like A Version cover Breathe Life was met which whoops. The song sent a chill through the audience, as her strong voice seemed to reach the insides of every eardrum whilst still retaining its calming quality. Last was Hold, another well known by the audience. As she finished, Vera continued chatting with the audience, keen to meet people at her merchandise table. And that was it, the buzzing crowd seemed reluctant to leave the cosy band room for the cold city night air outside.

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