Best Live Act

Presented by Young Henrys

Advances in technology are making it easier and easier to get music recorded and out there in the world, but being able to translate it into a live show with the power to move people remains rooted in commitment to craft and authenticity. These six nominees understand and embody this. Which one moved you most in 2019?   

 

GODTET

GODTET

GODTET are emerging as a staple in Australia’s jazz and instrumental scene. Their jazz-infused electronic funk reached new heights this year with the release of ‘II’ – an album they laid down in the space of a day whilst on tour in Melbourne. It’s rooted in a bit of improvisation and a hell of a lot of skill. To see a GODTET show comes with a guarantee that you will be having a totally unique experience, as the band welcomes a different guest muso to the stage each show and plays without a brief. Each and every show sounds wildly different, and GODTET’s skill and ability to go with the flow reign supreme. 

Photo courtesy of the artist

Shady Nasty

Shady Nasty

A young Sydney punk three piece that has won the hearts of Sydney live music enthusiasts, 2019 was Shady Nasty’s year. Their challenging single ‘Get Buff’ rang through gig venues all over the city this year, cementing that the boys of Shady Nasty are an absolute force to be reckoned with. Their signature ominous and unpredictable blend of alt punk hip hop is unlike anything else Sydney has to offer, proving that the loud and the noisy can forge a well-needed catharsis as they split ears and banged heads all year long.

Photo: Andreas Damouras

Gauci

Gauci

Blending synths and charming saccharine melodies, Gauci are a pair of siblings plus one surrogate sibling producing the smooth italo disco you’d expect to find in Berlin, but in the early hours of the morning soundtracking a sunrise. Their live shows dish out a unique mix of nostalgia and pulsing, energetic techno, with pop anthems the whole family can enjoy. Boasting some huge live show credits in 2019, including a support slot for Hatchie on her national tour, gig goers across the country have fallen in love with Gauci’s dreamy sounds, and they are fast becoming mainstays on Australian live music circuits.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Hooligan Hefs

Hooligan Hefs

Hooligan Hefs is making something really special out of Western Sydney hip hop. Melding UK drill, Australian gutter rap, and European EDM genres like hardstyle and gabber, his sound oozes energy and demands attention. As to be expected, his live shows are known to ooze energy and demand attention too. As one of 2019’s most notable breakout stars, Hooligan Hefs has crafted a sound and an image that is uniquely his, earmarked by his unapologetic and confident demeanour. Citing years spent freestyling with his friends as a teenager in Western Sydney’s Doonside, Hooligan Hefs has honed his craft and has carved out a space for himself at the forefront of one of Sydney’s most burgeoning scenes.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Arafura

Arafura

Anti-colonial and anti-power messages delivered via aggressive minimalist hardcore, Sydney three piece Arafura are a band to keep an eye on. Discordant riffs, blast beats and piercing vocals make for erratic and loud music that channels a spirit of resistance and solidarity. Their releases “Gaze” and “Radiance” were written to subvert the white gaze and pay homage to brown bodies glowing in the sun. Finding their home on local stages in 2019, Sydneysiders were able to bear witness to the triumphant defiance of Arafura’s live shows.

Photo courtesy of the artist

 

The Buoys

The Buoys have had an exciting year, serving their signature heavy guitars and soft garage grunge in two new singles ‘Gold’ and ‘Inside Out’. With punky vocals, slacker fuzz, and tight rhythms, the tracks sport a self assurance and intention. The Buoys have had an impressive year as a live band too, appearing at Bad Friday and Fairgrounds, and supporting DZ Deathrays, Girlpool, and Pist Idiots amongst heaps of other shows. 

Photo: April Josie