Seven months on from her last hometown headline show, and a mere week after the release of her sophomore EP – Golden Hour Woodes took to the stage at The Toff in Town for an intimate show that teased a grandiose scale that her performances will surely reach as she grows.
The night was opened by a beautifully textured set from Hemm. They delivered a sound that was not only perfectly suited to run alongside the atmosphere surrounding Woodes work, but music that oozed the very aesthetic of the venue. The set smoothly sailed between ambient electronic sounds, into more experimental genre defying stuff. Pushing the available time slot, they created a world with their sound, each musical element layering another stroke onto the image of the beauty in an unexpected hyperreality that they painted onto the audience’s minds.
Seavera may have had to swap out Daniel Pinkerton for the live show due to illness, but that didn’t make the performance lacking with Hayden Jeffery of Woodes live band slipping in to fill the spot. The emotive performance was coupled with numerous guitar swaps that became almost forgettable thanks to the outstanding vocals of Tori Zietsch. Her voice filled the room with ease, tugging at heartstrings and captivating attention as material both from and outside of their Different Kind of Sadness EP that had been released the day prior. Each track was engaging, and had more than a few bodies in the room moving. If you’d seen Seavera perform over the past few years it was easy to see how much they have developed as song writers and Zietsch as a live vocalist.
Having followed Woodes work for a number of years now, it is easy to see her as a rather small act. But if the seven months between her last headline show and this one highlighted anything, it’s that she is starting to exceed potential and move above and beyond with her music.
The production values of the show were simply outstanding, as we watched Elle Graham (Woodes) switch between her almost dorky, quirky personality into a perfectly on point performer with ease. As she touched on material from both Golden Hour and her self titled EP, Graham’s ability to showcase her outstanding vocals had ample opportunity to be shown off. Near everyone in the room could be seen singing along to at least a handful of the tracks offered up in the hour long set, but each and every time it was the confidence and power behind the Woodes image that stole the show. In fact it was the confidence that was shown on stage that made this show really stand out. Classics like ‘Daggers and Knives’ picked up a new energy, but it was the rework of her collaboration with Set Mo’s ‘I Belong Here’ that demonstrated exactly how strong her performance chops, and writing skills are. While the original was a beautiful song, the live rendition became bigger, dancier, but also all the more Woodes-ier, enabling it to fit into the set much better than could have been expected.
It was almost expected that ‘Origami’ and ‘Dots’ would take out the position of highlights of the show – and in a musical sense this is accurate. But the real joy of this show was seeing the community around Woodes express their joy and appreciation towards the artist, and the mutuality of it. It was easy to see from Graham’s face that she was overjoyed by the response and it was a warming feeling. There are big things to come from Woodes, not the least of which is her appearance on triple j’s Like a Version later this week. To see her in such an intimate location is rewarding now, but will become something of a rarity in years to come as she continues to soar.