Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Ray performed to an ecstatic audience last Thursday night (23rd of August) at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory for the second-last stop of her ‘Here and Now’ tour.
Opening act Connor Black-Harry – an old schoolmate of Gretta – performed a captivating set, managing to tune his guitar in the middle of one or two songs, all the while never missing a beat. Four-piece FEELDS brought a ton of energy with them, delivering some tight instrumental performances and even tighter vocal harmonies.
After an extended instrumental intro from her backing band, Ray dashed on to sing ‘When We’re in Fitzroy’, the opener to her recently-released EP, from which the tour gained its title. The rest of ‘Here and Now’ was dispersed throughout the set, with a few other songs in between, such as old-favourite ‘Unwind’, as well as two unreleased songs, one of which being inspired by the singer’s recent trip to Europe. Ray’s singing was nothing short of stunning, and you’d be hard pressed to find any differences between Ray’s live voice and her recorded voice.
The night was filled with massive sing-a-long’s, like at the end of ‘Time’, when the singer gave the crowd a melodic line to sing, dancing to it with genuine joy as they sung in unison. As well as this, of course, the audience couldn’t help but sing every word to the closer, ‘Drive’, with hundreds of voices yelling out the song’s anthemic chorus.
Gretta Ray made one thing absolutely certain at her Sydney gig: not only is she one of the most extraordinary young musicians in Australia right now, but she’s also a force to be reckoned with live.