[Live Review] MARLON WILLIAMS (Sydney)

Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Wednesday November 15, 2017 :

Wednesday 15th of November 2017 is now a cornerstone day for Australian LGBTQ community. Today, the same sex marriage survey results were made public. As majority voted “YES” in favour of legalising SSM, Oxford street was chaotic and glistening with rainbow everything as well as “Love Is Love” signs. People were happy and considerably drunk on either dopamine or alcoholic beverages. Making my way to Oxford Art Factory was quite colourful and cheerful. Marlon Williams’ SOLD OUT show couldn’t be any more packed.

Pushing through a considerably older crowd up to the front, soundtracked by cheerful folk-blues sounds of the support act Archer. The task of getting up front failed all my expectations, so I caught some of the set while not being able to see what’s happening on stage completely. I saw some glimpses of tuba and a man who seemed like an embodiment of lumberjack chic, but sounded like someone I’d be listening to through radio waves if I was a suburban housewife back in the ’50s. Which is totally a good thing as suburban living in the ’50s was always my never to be reached dream. Archer’s happy-go-lucky attitude and songs like ‘Standing Still Blues’ highlighted this performance and made it a perfect warm up for whats to come later in the night.

By the time the curtain rolled shut and I was finally able to push myself through to the front of stage, the venue started to feel much smaller as even more people rolled in.

Marlon Williams is a shiny fish in the pool of alternative country, folk and some blues sprinkled all over. New Zealand born, award winning singer-songwriter who has already travelled half the world showcasing his music and got a new record on the way, it’s quite astonishing how this 26 year old performer has established his career touring with one of my favourites Band of Horses and C.W.Stoneking as well as performing duets with Delaney Davidson in his early 20s.

Kicking off the show with ‘Come to Me’ which is also the opening track for his upcoming album Make Way For Love. Backed by bass/double-bass, keys & violin player and an exceptional drummer – Williams transcends into ‘I Know A Jeweller’ also off his upcoming record. Williams addressed today’s occasion of SSM survey results with an elaborate sarcasm : “Now we are all allowed to be in our own loveless, miserable prison” followed by an introduction of his upcoming album and ‘Whats Chasing You’. The vibrant set-list included a guitar shred solo after his highly acclaimed noir novel-like musings on ‘Dark Child’.

Sitting himself at a keyboard for ‘I Didn’t Make A Plan’ which is a sad but sweet heartbreak song that the crowd loved. Surprisingly there were hardly any people on their phones and it was quite noticeable when I made notes on mine, older punters seem to be more into enjoying the show and not observing through their phone screens, which I found refreshing.

Such songs as ‘Jealous Guy’, ‘Vampire Again’ and fresh single ‘Make Way For Love’ were all met with open arms and open hearts by the punters. Enthusiastic humming ensured during every perfect arrangement of harmonies and the howls of violin.

It was quite a special performance tonight on a very special day for many people, vast range of old and new songs on the set list really made me look forward to Marlon’s upcoming album and his newly-announced bigger tour next year.

Reviewer and Photographer : Annette Geneva

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