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Never performed live? The Indie Groove has your back

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

We are running a weekly series spotlighting event organisers and venues that have kept the scene rich and vibrant. So post-lockdown you'll know exactly where to go! Introducing...The Indie Groove

Groove Nights, May Edition
Groove Nights, May Edition | Photo: Alexander Robinson (@alexrbsn)

Budgeting, ticketing, marketing, finding a venue, stage setup, being the door b*tch, MC’ing - just a few in a long, long, long line of tasks to carry out if you’re organising a gig. Managing an indie gig - let alone one where you perform as well - is no mean feat. This is one reason why we’re featuring gig organisers in this weekly lockdown series, and we started with Frequency Live Jam last week.

This week, we’re sitting down (virtually) with Talya Jacobson who leads up the team at The Indie Groove, a gig series and media platform that gives new, often lesser known Sydney artists a platform to perform live on stage at the Burdekin Hotel, or on video. We’ll also hear from singer-songwriter Townes, for whom these groovy gig nights have provided the opportunity to perform live in Sydney for the first time ever.

SADA performs at The Indie Groove
SADA performs at The Indie Groove | Photo: Alexander Robinson (@alexrbsn)

Closing the Gap

The Indie Groove was brought into the world in 2020 by music journalist Talya Jacobson and her friends, to give more opportunities to newer artists. Talya initially wanted to help artists grow a following by filming live studio sessions. She was then inspired to help the flagging live music scene following Sydney’s 2020 lockdown, adding a monthly gig series to The Indie Groove’s repertoire.

The Indie Groove team. From left to right: Joshua Pershouse, audio engineer; Alexander Robinson, director of photography; Talya Jacobson, founder and director; Andrijana Blazevic, producer.
The Indie Groove team. Joshua Pershouse, Alexander Robinson, Talya Jacobson & Andrijana Blazevic

“There was a gap in the industry for up and coming artists across media and live music,” Talya explains. “The gigs came about as another way for these artists to get their music out in person, not just online. I think that’s important for music.”

The gig nights began in February 2021, starting from a standard gig with a lineup of three to four artists, and developing into a night packed with music-themed games and interviews to engage the audience, as well as the live music itself

Artists participate in an on-the-spot 5 minute songwriting contest between performances at the Indie Groove
On-the-spot 5 minute songwriting contest between performances. Photo: Alexander Robinson (@alexrbsn)

“The games and interviews are the basis of what The Indie Groove is - somewhere fun where people can get to know their favourite new artists beyond the music,” says Talya, mentioning that the element of fun is also a key part of The Indie Groove’s recorded sessions.

Quality c0nt3nt

Although The Indie Groove is at the moment primarily known for its gigs, it was initially founded as a media platform. Since last year, the team’s been hard at work creating some great video content featuring a plethora of talented local artists.

Apart from filming a live performance, where artists are backdropped by a clean white space, there are also couch session interviews where viewers get to know the artist better. But what makes The Indie Groove special is their game segment, where you get to see another facet of your favourite artist’s creativity as you watch them play “My Brand New Song”. This competitive songwriting game is an Indie Groove original - check out the band Sunset Place getting into it here.

Now that we’re back in lockdown, the team’s been going back to sessions filmed all the way back in November 2020, so expect more from The Indie Groove’s video production side.

A-Live and Kicking

Worried that The Indie Groove won’t pick up their live shows post lockdown? Never fear - Talya says they’ll be back. That’s for the best, because for brand new singer-songwriters like Townes, The Indie Groove provides an opportunity to rack up more stage time. In Townes’ case, she had never performed before, but Talya gave her the chance.

“I met Talya once a few years ago through a producer I work with, RiTZZ, who DJ’s for the Indie Groove,” explains Townes. “When Talya approached me to perform, I think I was pretty hesitant to say yes. But I couldn’t pass up the chance and decided to just go for it.

Townes performs at The Indie Groove
Townes performs at The Indie Groove | Photo: Alexander Robinson (@alexrbsn)

“It was so exhilarating being up on a stage and seeing people enjoying my music. It was a very surreal experience. It’s such a great platform for smaller artists and everyone involved are all such wonderful people.”

We covered Townes’ May performance here. We couldn’t tell it was her first time, which only goes to show that lack of experience has nothing to do with lack of capability; the more platforms in Sydney that recognise this, the better for our up and coming musicians.


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