The Woodville Town Hall has a long history with various incarnations starting with being council chambers to a community function centre and a local picture theatre. After extensive renovations it’s the perfect set up for all types of music events and this weekend saw the first November Nights showcasing seven of Australia’s best female artists across two nights.
With a stellar line up of powerhouse female talent headliner Mojo Juju, Ella Hooper and Alana Jagt performed on the Friday night and Thando, Karen Lee Andrews, Caiti Baker and Jay Power on the Saturday night.
Local Adelaidean, Alana Jagt was the first act to grace the stage and she impressed with her indie Pop Rock tunes with a slick and soulful performance. Accompanied with her band of five they started off the night with the song Land of the Long White Cloud. Mixing it up with some originals and covers like Old Paint, Sarah and Imagining Life and a new untitled song she named Money on the night but the biggest cheers and whistles was for her 2017 hit Somehow, Sometime.
Jagt is a shining star and with guitar in hand she showed just how bright her light is with her slower powerful vocally charged version of Bible Camp, a song from another local Adelaide band West Thebarton. With a bit of extra time till the end of her set she squeezed in Price you Pay, a song written by a friend and not performed very often. Without a guitar Jagt had the opportunity to let loose and dance around showing us her cool rock star moves!
Ella Hooper is known as the front woman for Killing Heidi but tonight she brought her solo game to Adelaide and the crowd loved it. Beginning with a few songs from the 2016 album New Magic, Hooper wowed us with the smooth sounds of Ouroboros then getting real with Daily Detritus or what the fans call the tampon song. Interust bought the happy element and Monkey Mind had all the upbeat urgency vibes.
Hooper’s vocals are sublime and she takes you for a ride in the front seat when she sings. Whether she sings or talks, her charm is spellbinding. When she had a bit of trouble tuning her guitar, she had her witty banter on hand to fill in time between songs. Food seemed to be a reoccurring theme giving a shout out to Adelaide’s favourite Vietnamese restaurant NNQ.
A big fan of Fleetwood Mac meant we heard her version of Dreams which started her rock part of the set. Wild Stallions and Low High followed before she asked if we wanted to end with a banger or a sad song. The crowd yelled out “both!” and both we got. Finishing on the “sad” Everything is a Sign and the “banger” BDSM themed The Red Shoes.
Mojo Juju is simply wow! From the first hums of Native Tongue everyone in the hall was in a silent wonder. Hearing this song live is simply something else. Its raw and haunting and the drum beat leaves you awe struck. She certainly got our attention! Just her and brother Stevie on drums was a powerful enough force for the entire set. We got to know about her family and life experiences along with some soulful tunes.
Something Wrong was next up with its groovy dance beats, part one and two of a trilogy Far Too late and I Just Wanna Know which is about her grandparents and the slower Bound To which was a love song she wrote with her brother Stevie. She joked that it’s a happy song and it’s not based on her own love life which is usually the opposite. Again, it was a story about her grandparents, a running theme and has obviously left a big impression on her.
The bluesy Never Again was smooth and cool in its beat with a serious and self-discovering message of not ever accepting the subtle digs of racism. The song came about from a conversation she heard between a mother and daughter when she was on a plane. Their conversation was about the Adam Goodes racism saga. The wonderful thing about the whole set was the introduction and storytelling for each song. It was interesting and fascinating to hear the creative process or what the song represented.
Mojo Juju performed a new song Shut Your Mouth which was written about the aftermath of the Native Tongue song and people telling her about the whole experience despite them not living it. We got a brutally honest and raw Mojo Juju and that’s what the big appeal is; authenticity at its finest.
We were given a mix of Soul, RnB, Hip Hop and Blues in the cool smooth Mojo Juju style along with new and old school songs. Getting political with the funky Think Twice, a song about Peter Dutton and “any other dickhead politician.” The last song was Don’t Stop Me Know which is about the struggles in her own life. She declared “I hope this song is a comfort for those living in two worlds.” A standing ovation and a call back on stage for the audience to pay their thanks and respects was a fitting end to a brilliant first night of the Woodville Town Hall’s November Nights.
Live Review By Anastasia Lambis