Julia Jacklin and her band played to a sold out crowd on Saturday 9 March 2019 at the Triffid in Brisbane. Supported by Brisbane singer songwriter Asha Jeffries and Melbourne songstress Olympia, the night certainly did celebrate women in music.
As Julia Jacklin and her band strolled onto the stage the crowd fell silent, expectantly. With no introduction necessary, Julia stood before them opening the night with her song ‘Body.’ ‘Body’ is an emotional piece from her latest album ‘Crushing’, a melancholy, haunting song that Julia herself describes as “a very long exaggerated sigh – brought from feelings of powerlessness when it comes to the impossible talk of representing yourself the way you think is right; personally and professionally.” From this moment on, here in the room, Julia and her band had the crowds’ undivided attention for the entire show.
The Triffid was a perfect venue for this intimate gig. Her music soft, quite slow, and her voice powerful and silky filled the room, giving us all a feeling that we were right there with her. It was personal, and we were all friends.
The crowd were not strangers to Julia’s music. ‘Crushing’ is her second album which she released 28 February 2019. This album is a narrative of heartbreak and infatuation, yet throughout the album you hear how one woman comes to speaking her truth even when others may not agree with those words. The crowd this night definitely agreed.
It was young people who filled the room, taking in her every word, singing along to what were obviously anthems of their own lives. As she played ‘Head Alone’ the crowd took the opportunity to move to the more upbeat music, singing along to a lyrically powerful chorus,“I don’t want to be touched all the time, I raised my body up to mine.”
Each song was a breathtaking performance of vulnerability drawn from personal experience. ‘When The Family Flies In’ we all hung onto every word and note. With only a piano, herself and stunning backing vocals, this song highlighted the sheer vulnerability of what Julia Jacklin offers. Her band, devoted to the music, play with energy, enthusiasm while still holding back, so the music is kept to its authentic no-tricks-attached charm.
While most of the songs performed were from her latest album, she did treat the crowd to some old favourites from her previous album. Considering ‘Crushing’ was released less than two weeks ago, it was great to hear the crowd were already familiar with the albums highlights.
The show ended with a beat and a dance as she played ‘Pressure To Party’, another song about emotional freedom. As the song finished and the band left the stage, the audience weren’t going to let them go so easy. The crowd called for an encore and the band certainly delivered, giving an encore of ‘Comfort’ from her album ‘Crushing and ‘Hay Plain’ from her earlier album ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win.’
Julia Jacklin’s performance was executed with ease and there was no pretence here. What we saw was an artist, with her band, playing music and telling stories to a crowd who was there for them 100%. I feel certain we will hear more of Julia Jacklin in the future.
Words: Nicole Browne
Images (C) Gio Siregar