On Friday night I had the pleasure of seeing Winston Surfshirt and Becca Hatch do their thang at the Factory Theatre. Much to fans elation, the boys have returned from their hiatus and have come back in full force since having to cancel their AUS/NZ Apple Crumble tour earlier this year due to the dreaded COVID-19.
We got a drink and sat down at our allocated seats soon before the opening act came on. Supporting Winston Surfshirt was Becca Hatch, the 19 year old talent from Western Sydney. Immediately bringing the good vibes with her RnB sounds, Hatch draws inspiration from her Samoan roots with an impeccable groove. Her vocals are something to be matched, and her supporting DJ and funk/soul guitarist complemented her sound perfectly, adding different levels and dimensions to the set. She then brought her brothers out on stage for a song, a trio that slotted in with her upbeat, smooth island composition perfectly.
Then it was time for Winston - playing a plethora of songs from both their Apple Crumble and Sponge Cake albums, the band wasted no time with small talk and got straight into it, with the main singer’s signature vocals permeating the room immediately. Winston Surfshirt is the personification of smooth. With cruisy beats and a cruisy attitude to match, the band’s sound has a strong influence of early funk, soul and jazz. The six-piece melds together meticulously, simultaneously running a tight ship whilst making it look like the easiest thing in the world.
Listening to Winston Surfshirt live is a totally different experience to simply having it coming through your headphones. The live show is where the band excels, with each musical component getting to shine, groove and bounce off the audience’s energy. And whilst the experience was somewhat unsatisfying because of the lack of dancefloor, the audience was happy to be listening live regardless, bopping along in their seats to make up for it.
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