The Grooviest Indie Nights in Sydney
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Thursday, 27th May 2021 | Townes, Sada, Eliza Lee + STAMINA @ Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst
Where’s Sydney’s grooviest place for an indie artist to book? The hint may be in the name but we think it’s The Indie Groove's Groove Nights, a series of monthly gigs showcasing local independent talent.
The Indie Groove was officially launched by Talya Jacobson and her music loving gang just at the start of the year; I went for their Women’s Day Gig in March and since then Talya and co. have helped this passion project evolve from a standard gig night to an event packed with games, audience engagement and interviews.
The May edition was full-on 70’s themed, with the era’s distinctive florals and psychedelic stripes present in the form of stickers, banners and even a vibrant photo booth situated near the entrance (yes there were flower framed glasses to pop on, and yes I got in there and had a photo or two taken).
This was singer-songwriter Townes’ first ever gig in Sydney, but I couldn’t tell. She kicked off the night with her mini-set, looking on point with the hippie theme in a flowy skirt and bare feet. She’s early on in her musical career but treated us to covers from the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead and Fleetwood Mac, as well as some originals, with her crystalline voice. Despite a couple of minor hiccups (obviously, it’s her first time and which performer hasn’t had those?) Townes owned the stage and kept us enthralled. We’re looking out for her debut single!
If you like Sade or Alicia Keys, you’ll love Sada. This powerful soul singer was in complete control of both her vocals and the stage, pushing out some incredible Ella Fitzerald type freestyling on her original ‘Story’. I particularly loved Sada’s original ‘Fearless’, about her brother-in-law’s bravery in coming out.
There was a moment mid-song when her mic kept falling lower and lower since the knob was loose, but Sada saved the potentially awkward situation with infinite grace and switched to playing with one hand while holding up the mic with the other! What a pro.
Mid set, Talya pressed pause and initiated a giveaway game - all the audience had to do was to send a specific message to Sada through her socials and she’d pick a lucky winner to write a song for. (This is why I’d encourage you to show up at an Indie Groove night because you honestly never know what you’re going to get).
The next act was Eliza Lee, a social media influencer and singer songwriter who charmed the audience with her confidence and ease onstage. Eliza cited Khelani and her bubble gum pop roots as inspirations which came through with her fluttery vocals and R&B heavy melodies. Memorably, Eliza introduced an original with the backstory where she was “feeling a bit like a side bitch”. Naturally, she named the song ‘Side Bitch’. She then coaxed the crowd into singing along with her cover of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Señorita’.
Talya came up onstage again mid-set and initiated an on-the-spot songwriting contest between the performers of the night - they had three minutes to use six words picked out of a hat to write a chorus or verse. Both Sada and Eliza performed and came up with songs seemingly out of thin air. This is the kind of engagement audiences love and I’m so glad the Indie Groove ran this.
I had to go before the last act, EDM singer-songwriter STAMINA, but my friend stayed back for the set and reported good vibes and lit dance floor.
I’ll be back for another groovy night in the future but until then, give The Indie Groove a follow on good ole’ insta to support them and keep in touch with what they’re doing.
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