September 30, 2017
Dan Sultan’s fourth, more personal, reflective and mature album, Killer, which he recorded with producer and long-time collaborator Jan Skubiszewski in Melbourne, exemplifies that the singer-songwriter has evolved, putting with a broader weighing of life’s ups and downs and introducing synthesizers and drum machines to lift rhythms, and heightening emotions with gospel backing vocals.
In a laid back live environment up front and supported by a full band, Dan’s wider repertoire and raw emotion resonates with a swag of differing ages and tastes that is reflected in the audience: Young and old; aboriginal community and folks that would have founded their way to tonight’s venues via FM broadcasting.
Sultan works his guitar like his heartstrings and breaks up the intensity of his songs with light banter and self-deprecating humour, which makes his audience feel at ease and his offerings relatable - especially when he is both exercising and exorcising his inner demons.
His lyrical explorations and homespun storytelling cover a range of topics including the Australian political climate, imagery of the Australian outback and of course an ample serving of love songs and tunes of longing, which are amplified by the heartfelt ladies adding soulful backing vocals to the mix, infusing even the harder rocking songs with gospel and Motown flavours.
The evening was testament to Dan Sultan furthering the path of Australian music by effortlessly playing the claviature from hard rockers to bare ballads in his signature style, and could not even be dimmed by an unplanned fire drill towards the end of the set.
A night full of passionate soul, rock and blues roots of an Australian artist who has grown to feel more comfortable in his own skin and manages to capture the Australian spirit with credibility.
Photos by KAVV