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28 November 2014, Railway Club

By Steve Kelk

“Are you guys ready for God?”

The Big Man from Shepparton touched down in Darwin and promptly started to complain about the weather….
It was a very sweaty night for the brash man-mountain from the South. Often wiping himself down with a towel and then not bothering to remove it from his substantial head, Briggs pummelled our senses with his trademark brand of in-your-face Hip-Hop that was part live music and part stand-up comedy. Guttural, primeval noises emanated from the Green Room during his announcement onto the stage, which had his loyal fans baying for his presence. Typically, he kept them waiting just a little, his entrance prefaced by music befitting the entrance of a UFC contender.

Acerbic wit mixed with loud, forceful rhymes and pumping bass lines as the juggernaut that is Briggs owned the stage. The man has a thing called presence – he is there and you are watching and listening to him. It is that simple.

Many words have been written about Briggs’ style since his splash onto the scene in 2009 with his self-funded and self-made EP ‘Homemade Bombs’ and I can tell you that they are all true. No need to go into his set list for this review – every track hit the target with energy and copious amounts of perspiration. One image we took of him has him looking very God-like, arm outstretched to his loyal followers (although he is obviously preaching to the converted). This NIMA Award-winning performer entertains and has you in his thrall from the get-go. But despite the thunderous personality, we found Briggs to be a humble man off stage and he thanked each of the FOLDBACK team with a warm if somewhat crushing handshake at the end of the show.

We certainly look forward to seeing him in Darwin again soon as we are sure you do too.

Now we can’t sign off on this article without giving kudos to the sensual Sietta, performing second to Briggs on this night with their particular brand of soul/electronic/hip hop that has made them a Darwin favourite for a long time now. Caiti sure can sing and she sure can move and, along with James backing, they are a pleasure to watch and sweet to listen to. A fabulous warm up for Briggs on this occasion and a national leading act in their own right, the Darwin locals never disappoint. It was a pleasure capturing the moment for our magazine.

A shout out too for the other support acts on this night as well – Kouf on his EP launch (see our related article); locals DT3 with their raucous tracks and the quietly skillful Philly from Victoria – an Indigenous role model for many in his home town of Mildura, the young rapper, now based in Melbourne, was this year’s joint triple J Unearthed-NIMA Award winner and performed in Darwin for the NIMAS as did Briggs.
Many thanks to Nook Events for putting on the show and the Railway Club for a terrific venue, always ready to cater to all and any genres and, as always, supporting local live music.

Kouf launched his keenly anticipated EP ‘The Silhouette’ at the Railway Club last Friday, as opener for Briggs with Sietta.

As a young teenager, Kouf started this journey as a beatboxer. He has progressed as an MC to supporting national acts like Horrorshow and Joelistics and playing the Block Party at the Lighthouse during the Darwin Festival in 2013.

The Darwin-raised MC’s first offering on CD references his hometown idiosyncrasies on tracks such as ‘Win City’, a soulful, chill and clever perspective on Darwin life for his generation. The city is made flesh and personified as a sort of semi-malevolent deity that needs appeasing through rhymes – a love-hate relationship indeed. Also very chill and engaging is the track ‘And You Don’t Quit’ which is guaranteed to induce thoughtful distant gazes and body sways. More emphatic is ‘Future Dreams’, a narrative on the falsities, bleakness and uncertainty of modern life along with the calming nature of hope. Title track ‘The Silhouette’, like the name suggests, has a dream-like and otherworldly feel, an alter-ego essay on the duality that exists without and within. A lot of thought and a lot of feeling have gone into these tracks, both lyrically and musically.

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