[Live Review] BONJAH


Photographer: Barry Schipplock

The Zoo, Brisbane
Friday October 10, 2014

‏Opening for Bonjah at the iconic Brisbane venue, The Zoo, Bec Laughton enters the stage like she has just stepped out of mid-1990s Seattle in a beanie and flannelette shirt. She is charming on stage and clearly having fun with the set. She sings a mix of originals and covers ‘Gonna Love you’, ‘Number One ( Heartbreak)’ with laid back ease and sass. She surprisingly takes Destiny’s Child smash-hit ‘Bootylious’ and slows it down adding a jazz feel which is pure sass. She is the perfect choice to open for the main act of the evening Bonjah.

‏Late into the evening Bonjah finally enter the stage. With smoky, sultry vocals, frontman Glenn Mossop has a unique sound that is bluesy and soulful all at once. Dressed in a funky hat and crisp white shirt his voice is reminiscent of New Orleans jazz and blues and is somewhat alluring. Playing songs from the new album Beautiful Wild, tracks ‘Big City Lights’, ‘The Keeper’ and ‘Brother’ flow easily and the small crowd is dancing to the flow. During ‘Brother’ with mournful lyrics he laments “Will I learn it’s not easy?” drawing powerful visual images and the song is melancholic and beautiful.

‏Surprisingly lead guitarist Regan Lethbridge takes the microphone to sing Fleetwood Mac ‏’Dreams’, amazing the crowd with his crystal clear flawless rendition of the classic track. He makes it beautiful and draws listeners in with his melancholic version. It is a highly memorable moment that captures the audience’s attention.

‏Towards the end of the evening Mossop takes a moment to introduce a track that the band covered on Triple J’s Like a Version, a very different cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals’. Mossop manages to make a very over played song not only palatable, but rather enjoyable. It’s jazzy and bluesy in his delivery and very cleverly sung. He uses his smoky sultry voice to make it alluring and has the crowd moving and shaking.

‏Closing out the evening with the title track from the album Beautiful WIld, Bonjah have returned to the Brisbane stage and even though the crowd was small, they were dancing and really enjoying every moment of the set. When a band manages to make every audience member dance in syncopative rhythm then it does not matter how small the crowd is, the show has been a success.

Reviewer: Amanda Starkey


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