Summersalt @ Glenelg Beach, Glenelg SA 8/12/2018

Angus and Julia Stone and band arrive on stage fifteen minutes before sundown at the spectacular Summersalt festival at Glenelg beach and start with the glorious Snow from the album of the same name released last year. Some of the audience was a little distracted by the incredible sunset for the next fifteen minutes which made for a wonderful setting for the concert. Angus actually hobbled on stage with crutches and sported a moon boot on his left foot and sat on a chair for the performance. They played Oakwood from the latest album followed by Private Lawns from their original 2006 EP and it has never sounded better. Julia’s trumpet was a standout.

Next was A Heartbreak from their 2014 Self-titled album followed by Cellar Door from Snow. All up they played six songs from Snow which is an excellent album. I prefer the latest album as they both sing and share the vocals on each track as opposed to previous albums where usually either one of them was the main vocalist for each track. I have been seeing them since they first toured Adelaide early in 2007 and I find their sound on stage is the best it has ever been.

The rest of the band do an admirable job of backing up the siblings. A lot of the songs build up slowly and then get into a solid groove before moving to a rock out at the end. The crowd was loving it and really getting into the songs from Snow but the biggest squeals were when Big Jet Plane was played which was a huge sing-a-long with the punters. They played Coyote and Uptown Folks from Angus’s solo band Dope Lemon which both really suited the vibe for the set. The night ended with Chateau from Snow and sadly calls for an encore fell on deaf ears although there was enough time to play at least one more song.

Prior to Angus and Julia Stone, Meg Mac hit the stage and started with Turning from her first EP from 2014. Just like her gig at The Gov last year Meg has a great energy on stage belting out her songs with a brilliant voice and continually walking to the left and right of the stage. The next song was Grace Gold from her brilliant album Low Blows from last year. It was at this point that light rain started falling down which thankfully ceased by the next song which was Known Better, her first recorded song which was uploaded to Triple J’s unearthed website.

Over the course of the set, Meg played all the songs from her first EP as well as four songs from Low Blows. I feel that Meg was giving us a “festival” set with more emphasis on her hits to please the casual listeners. I hope she rethinks this in the future as I would have preferred to hear more songs from her album and based on the crowd’s positive reaction whenever she played a newer song I think they would have as well. For the most part, Meg lets her songs speak for themselves and does not explain them prior. She played a great cover version of Tame Impala’s Let it Happen as well as Bill Withers Grandma’s Hands which really showcased her incredible voice. The greatest crowd reaction was for her last song which was Roll Up Your Sleeves. I hope now that she has performed at Summersault in WA and SA that she will add us both to her national tour in May otherwise I may wander interstate to catch her doing a few more songs from her latest album.

Earlier in the day, Didirri played and hopefully his great performance today will lead to his having more fans in Adelaide. This is the sixth time he has performed in Adelaide this year with three of his own shows and three as support. He is a very heartfelt singer and his Measurements EP released this year is a cracker and he thankfully played most of the tracks from the EP with a few new songs that will hopefully appear on an album in the foreseeable future.

Early on he did an eclectic heavy version of the Monkees Randy Scouse Git which sounds nothing like the original. This was the end of a four-month tour for Didirri and he flew into Adelaide from New York at 11:00 this morning. His song Blind You got an excellent response and I really love how in that song the guitar riff matches the melody in his voice. He then told us a beautiful story about his autistic brother’s simple advice of finding happiness where you can and try not to get in the way of other people’s happiness before launching into the song Jude which is about their dog. His set ended with my favourite track from his EP called I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head which is my top ten best songs of the year. At the end of the song during the instrumental break, Didirri jumped off stage and gave everyone in the front row a quick hug or handshake. A great way to end a set.

Prior to Didirri was Seaside from Byron Bay (like Angus and Julia Stone) and they were the most appropriately titled band for the day with the waters of Glenelg just a few steps away. Their accurate bio describes them as a little bit dreamy and a little bit groovy. They played some wonderful dream pop songs. They are a band to look out for and my favourite song of theirs was a song called What Keeps You Up At Night with some really catchy whistling. I also got quite excited when they covered the Pixies Hey and The Stone Roses I Wanna Be Adored which tells you who their influences are.

The first act of the day was Ollie English from Adelaide. His combination of Soul Blues and Rock was impressive. He was chosen as support by Angus and Julia after they heard on Triple J Unearthed which was an excellent opportunity for Ollie. His two best songs were Holy Water and How Many Times. I look forward to seeing him again around the traps.

Summersalt has brought some class acts to Adelaide like Cat Empire, Xavier Rudd, Missy Higgins and John Butler Trio and I am looking forward to their next show.

Live Review by Richard De Pizzol

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