Almanac Music: Tash Sultana – record-breaking, unique, resounding

Aptly placed, it was fitting that an unusually staunch 22-year-old broke the attendance record for Margaret Court Arena with a defiant message:


“If you’re homophobic… racist… transphobic, get the f**k out of my gig”.


Gracing the eager crowd of roughly 7,500 with brazenly embraced profanity, the peculiar Tash Sultana, former busker situated in Bourke Street, let her evolving rollercoaster of a sound do the talking for the remainder of the night.


After the opening acts of Willow Beats and Pierce Brothers, the latter also former buskers who combine a unique musical diversity with a country pounding beat reminiscent of Mumford & Sons, Sultana introduced herself to her Melbourne hometown with regular kick starter Big Smoke Pt 2.


With the heavy build up of synths, combined with wavering guitar riffs and the electronic drums facilitated by the power of the contemporary loop station, the bone-rattling wail of “when the big smoke comes” elicited grooving in the stands. However, Sultana isn’t the stereotypical ‘mosh pit’ artist, as swaying replaced the jumping encouraged by current pop acts.


Constituting her intensely popular Notion EP, Gemini followed, as the lyrics were soon replaced by Sultana’s trademark jamming that appears to be interpretive, such is the ease and relaxation that is exuded by her passionate revelling in her own music.


With new song ‘Murder on the Mind’ reacting well with the brimming crowd, the keyboard led rhythm, conjoined with the recognisable saxophone involvement, inspired the closest resemblance to dancing yet. However, this was all but a brief pocket of partying, as Sultana reached a poignant highlight of the night with a Youtube original Harvest Love. After calling out to the members of the audience who had ever experienced mental turmoil, or just emotional struggles as a whole, the rollicking beauty of steady electric guitar along with the angelic high pitched crooning of Sultana, the flash light on thousands of phones swayed in time to a truly memorable cacophony of sound.


In order to instill the positive vibes that coincide with other guitar heavy tunes, Notion was introduced to the delight of Margaret Court Arena. Coming with 10 minutes of peaks and troughs that toyed with emotions and delighted the ears, the crowd favourite Jungle followed, encouraging standing up and swaying before the passionate uproar of “welcome to the jungle”. With a predicted encore being met with an acoustic heavy explosion of Sultana’s musical diversity and talent, previously perpetuated by a variety of instruments and the mix of pan flute and beat boxing.


And, as quickly as the bushy-haired pocket rocket swaggered onto stage bare foot, she was gone, leaving a noticeable silence and an alteration to emotions that earmarks a moving and meaningful concert full of noise and maturation.


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