Tash Sultana


“Welcome to the house of love”. We are treated to a few Bob Marley singalongs with the whole crowd pitching in before Tash Sultana enters the stage. The crowd are in great spirits and there’s a chilled vibe in the air. This is mirrored in the first few seconds of Tash Sultana’s opening layer of sounds from her guitar. The lights behind are a dawn of orange and blue cascades. However, it’s not long before we are treated to a massive bass. Forget the ‘Monster smash’ next door in academy one, we have the dance party right here as more lights flash in time with each hi hat. Some great tones are being emitted from the guitar with pitch shifting bass riffs over reverbed chord progressions. The tunes are made on the fly.

When it comes to layering the structure of a song, Tash shines. The tunes sound very improvisational and the energy and happiness you can feel radiated from her during the creation of these intertwined chords and swells is infectious. She states that music is her release and you can tell that she throws herself into the process.

‘Gemini’ from her EP Notion is played early on. It is a synth-based track and so it allows her to be fully animated with happy smiles shining through each wailed lyric. Along with the instrument list of guitar, synth and drum machine, Tash pulls out a trumpet and a pan pipe for further excitement among the crowd. She manages to easily create a full band sound with her brilliant use of loop pedals. Other highlights of the evening are the emotional ‘Notions’, leading to me being serenaded by a wizard at the bar – it is Halloween – and the energetic ‘Synergy.’

The final song of the evening is the huge ‘Jungle’. The song is played in a teasing manner, but the song is teased out too much. Dragged out for 10 minutes, this isn’t a Jimmy Page solo, her technical guitar playing is quite often inaccurate and so leads to the drawn-out sections being a little frustrating as they pause the general rhythm of the tune. The heavy use of reverb and distortion effects may cover up a lot of the mistakes in playing but they don’t add anything to the song itself when used just to show off. The crowd does seem to love it but for me, I wanted to have a dance to this song and the smatterings of the actual track were too far between the solos. It has been a mixed evening, and although I like for an artist to change up songs live, sometimes you want to hear them in their complete form.

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