Review: Bec Sandridge at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, 24 November 2017

Charming and Personal

There’s a reason Bec Sandridge is blowing up right now; Her seamless mix of raw lyrics and giant, 80’s synth-pop has audiences across Australia dancing, and her latest single, ‘I’ll Never Want A BF’, is no exception.

Oxford Art Factory saw the Sydney leg of her single launch on Friday night, and her fans were out in force. Too bad Delta never showed up…

Complimenting Bec’s acerbic wit was the soulful storytelling of British expat Dominic Youdan. Going from a Jeff Buckley-style smooth, emotive acoustic, to a Flume style chill-step, Youdan’s talents were on full display. A multi-instrumentalist and one man band, Youdan brought to mind other expressive vocalist/instrumentalists, like DD Dumbo, who are in full control of their sound, and the growing crowd was loving it. Highlights were ‘Tigerlily’, the lead single off his new EP. Another standout was his cover of 90’s RnB classic ‘The Boy is Mine’ with a smooth blend of funk and dark electronica.

Next up we had Melbourne band IV League fresh off last years Triple J unearthed win, smashing out a fresh, loud alt-rock set getting everyone in the mood for jumping around. With a riot grrrl powerhouse vocal, and some surf rock meets grungy indie driving riffs, there were impressive lashings of some other great Aussie bands like Ball Park Music and Alex Lahey.

While they lacked a little energy and presence on stage, the music more than made up for it, finishing on a massive track called ‘Bleached’ that had everyone rushing to the front. These guys are catchy as hell. The perfect hype band for Sandridge’s brand of fun.

After a mysteriously curtained off sound check to the pounding tune of Vanessa Amarosi’s 2000 smash hit ‘Absolutely Everybody’, Bec Sandridge hit the stage with full force. Her charm is undeniable. As self-deprecatingly funny in between songs as her lyrics would have you believe, she hits with a fistful of earnesty, which is further supported by the catchiest of 80’s pop riffs. It’s all around gold, not the crappy, fake, gold-plated stuff.

It’s easy for some to dismiss pop as a hollow genre, but with such heartfelt natural emotions slicing through the banging synths, it’s easy to see why Sandridge is on an upwards trajectory.

Sandridge brought to the stage a dark new-wave sound, with her new single, ‘I’ll Never Want A BF’, giving us those giant thumping choruses that had the audience swarming to the stage. The new single doesn’t disappoint; a dance floor filler with a sadness to it, Sandridge is raw and personable, and the fans love it.

Her recent Instagram campaign to get Delta Goodrem in the audience of this Oxford Art Factory gig unfortunately fell short, despite a fan tagging frenzy. However, a major highlight of the show was Sandridge entering the mosh pit to take a selfie vid with the crowd, declaring her disappointment in Delta, and that she’s moving on to convincing Vanessa Amarosi to come instead. This could be the pop duet Australia never knew they so desperately needed. #ABSOLUTELYVANESSA

At this rate, it won’t be long until Bec is up there with those Aussie pop icons herself, and we’re all hash-tagging for her attention.

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