By Deb Kloeden, Adelaide correspondent
Review: SAFIA, Internal Australian Tour
Venue: Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide. 22nd October, 2016
SAFIA is an Electronic/Indie trio, hailing from Canberra, Australia. They formed in 2012 and have recently released their first full album, ‘Internal’. They came to my notice when they won a Triple J Unearthed competition, giving them a spot on the line-up for the 2012 Groovin’ the Moo Festival. They are currently touring Australia, promoting ‘Internal’ and I was lucky enough to catch them early in their tour, in Adelaide.
Two opening acts supported SAFIA. Running Touch, an Experimental Electronica artist from Melbourne, was first up, providing exciting new music a visual appeal. Set Mo, a duo DJ combination from Sydney, got the crowd dancing with their House grooves.
SAFIA opened their set with ‘My Love is Gone’, a popular choice with the crowd. They played all 12 songs from ‘Internal’. It’s hard to pick a favourite from this album. Every track is unique and showcases the amazing falsetto vocals of Ben Woolner. Ben was energetic on stage, leaping from one side of the stage to the other at times, engaging the crowd pressed against the barrier. Harry seamlessly moved from Synth to guitar mid song while Michael provided the grounding beats on drums.
One of the more unusual tracks on the album is ‘Bye Bye’, which has a real carnival feel, like a slightly mad carousel tune. A crowd pleaser was ‘Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues’, one of their first singles. This was followed by ‘Over you’, one of my personal favourites. It is a poignant song about lost love (a recurring theme in their songs). The very cleverly filmed video clip for this track deals with all the emotions that go with breaking up. It includes animation & trick photography. The very catchy tune and chorus lines give a feeling of happiness, however the film clip shows a much darker side of desperation, despair and sadness. This song marked the end of their set, but of course there were more favourites to come.
The crowd erupted when they returned for the encore with ‘Zion’. The purely instrumental track is a powerful opener for the album. The film clip begins with beautifully crafted, computer-generated images of floating, tumbling stones, dancing & playing to the music. It echoes the album cover design with cracks and fragments breaking into flashing disco-reminiscent shapes & patterns. These same images were projected as a backdrop behind the band while they played this track. A never-ending display of amazing computer generated visuals was projected during their one and a half hour set.
They generously played four encore songs. ‘Embracing Me’ had the crowd singing along in full voice. They finished with ‘External’ the last track on the album, topping off a massive night of amazing music perfectly.
If you are able to catch them on this tour, I highly recommend you do.
TOUR DATES (Remaining)
Saturday 05 November 2016 – Newcastle Foreshore, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Friday 11 November 2016 – Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand
Thursday 17 November 2016 – The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia
Friday 18 November 2016 – Enmore Theatre, Newtown, NSW, Australia
Tuesday 27 December 2016 – Thursday 29 December 2016 – Southbound Festival 2016 – Busselton, WA, Australia
Wednesday 28 December 2016 – Sunday 01 January 2017 – Beyond The Valley 2016 – Lardner, VIC, Australia
Sunday 01 January 2017 – Field Day 2017 – The Domain, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Ben Woolner – vocals/producer
Michael Bell – drums/producer
Harry Sayers – synth/guitar
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