Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • Raise the Roof IV Gig Review

    Raise The Roof IVWhen I first arrived at legendary Melbourne venue the Espy (Esplanade Hotel,) for Raise the Roof IV, my most prominent thought was relief to be out of the icy rain bucketing down outside. I certainly didn’t envy the mass of patiently shivering hip hop heads still waiting in line. But once inside; warm, dry, and with a beer in my hand, the performance of 15-yr-old boy wonder Soliloquy was quick to draw my attention. Still in high school, the curly haired Melbourne native strutted the stage with confidence and talent far beyond his years - an opinion which seemed to be shared by the rapidly growing crowd. It was only 9pm, but the Espy was already comfortably full, with a thick line of eager patrons hovering by the bar. Soliloquy was the first of the night’s who’s who of hip hop artists promoting Golden Era, the record label started by the Hilltop Hoods in 2008. Fans who’d pre-purchased tickets were given a free copy of the Golden Era Mixtape - distinguished by the distinctive dull gold screaming microphone adorning the case - upon entry.

    The event was headlined by names synonymous with Golden Era; Briggs, Vents, and the mighty Funkoars. In the Gershwin Room were soulful crooners Lowrider, back from playing South by Southwest in Texas in March, and South Australian MC’s Mase n Mattic, at home amongst the Adelaide-dominant line up. Adding further weight to the already impressive acts were godfathers of Australian hip hop Def Wish Cast, set to release their first album in six years next month. Raise the Roof was somewhat of a prequel for the crew, who are set to tour with their new songs in June. After twenty years in the business, the boys know how to put on a show. In the words of MC Die C, “We go out there, we sweat it up, we give it our 100 per cent.”

    In a scene increasingly dominated by soft samples, timid beats and rapping about feelings, the Golden Era crew spit lyrics about drugs, benders and whores – and judging from the crowd on Tuesday night, their extensive fanbase can’t get enough. Each with their own variation on the aggressive style of delivery that seems typical of the label, Briggs was followed by Vents, who was followed by the Funkoars. Both Briggs and Vents had the crowd jumping with their most well-known tunes, Vents finishing his set with high voltage favourite Rollin’ Balls. The passion these artists feel for their music is apparent in their live shows – as Vents says, “hip hop is my entire life.”

    The Funkoars featured songs from their first album to their latest a career spanning nearly a decade. Their broad range of work is united by one common theme – its energy. This is party music. With samples frequently including brass and old school guitar, amplified by raw production, it’s easy to picture the raucous life the ‘Oars are reputed to lead if this is its soundtrack. Hardcore fans of the foursome showed up with their eerie Vincent D’Onofrio masks at the ready, matching the faces of the Law and Order: Criminal Intent actor superimposed over the Funkoars on their tour poster. The group played the night as part of their Vincent D’Onofrio tour, following the September 2011 release of their latest album the Quickening.


    Written By Frances Vinall Exclusively For Ozhiphopshop


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