Emily Jones || April 19th
At The Exchange on Saturday 1st April, it was a picture of calm. That in itself is a sentence I never thought I’d find myself typing, namely due to the recent stream of loud and leery Rebel Bear Precinct gigs, I’ve found myself in attendance to. But on that day, calm was what it was. The RBP, slowly becoming known throughout the local scene for their strong live showcases of talented musicians, had lined up three solo female musicians for a night that was set to be memorable on all counts.
First up was Kez Liddle, a young singer/songwriter performing original music on her Telecaster. A relatively new name to the local music scene, but a huge talent at that, Kez Liddle wowed audiences with tracks taken from her EP ‘Rain Songs’, including ‘Indifferent’, ‘Not Love’ and ‘Enough’. Effortlessly, yet with a hard-not-to-adore nervousness that kept her relatively tight lipped between songs, she flowed from song to song like a veteran performer, with a voice that stuck like glue to the walls of the room. Kez Liddle is an intriguing, talented, young musician, with an exciting future ahead of her and watching her blossom will be something of a treat.
Following Kez was Julia Mosley, whose bubbly and lovable personality shines through every live performance. Seated comfortably behind an electric piano, Mosley pulled the audience in and held them there in the palm of her hand. Performing original compositions such as ‘Jack Frost’, ‘I Wear Black’ and ‘Ordinary Life’, Mosley seemed to grow as her set progressed. Her likeable personality coupled with her extraordinary vocal range, is ultimately what makes you want to hear more from Mosley. Laughing off a brief moment of forgetfulness, as she hurriedly tried to remember the key to a song, Julia Mosley gave a memorable note-perfect performance and warmed up the room just the right amount, for the headliner to fall into.
As Megan Dixon-Hood took to the stage, silence fell about the place. As a musician who is quickly becoming one of the most important women on the local scene (and beyond), it felt like the downstairs room of The Exchange was far too small for her talent to grace. But as she always does, Megan Dixon-Hood gave it everything she could and more, her voice wrapping itself around those stood watching her, warming hearts and chilling bones in equal measure. ‘I’m A Thief’, ‘A Year From Now’ and ‘Early Morning Riser’ helped ease her into the night, inviting the audience to pay close attention to her music. Megan Dixon-Hood possesses a writing style that is hard to come by within the local scene, as tracks ‘Abigail’, based on the novel The Crucible, and ‘Drowned’ written about an old folk tale where a bride-to-be drowns on the night before her wedding, prove. Her music is probably not what you’d find yourself listening to, if you needed a pick-me-up, but on that night at The Exchange, she gave the audience exactly what they needed and more. It was hard to take your eyes off her, the sheer power of her presence as awe-inspiring as the music she was making. Even without the backing of her band, Megan Dixon-Hood confidently held her own, particularly in ‘With Time’, her closing track and most recent release. It’s spine tingling and makes you break out in a serious case of goosebumps, her voice resonating deep inside the space between your lungs.
It seemed as though the remnants of the night hung heavily in the air, long after Megan Dixon-Hood had concluded her set. Reflecting on what those four walls had witnessed, was when I realised just how powerful the women of our music scene really are. They're not dainty little flowers, ready to snap in the wind. They are a fierce force of talented musicians, ready to dominate the scene and turn perceptions upside down. If Kez Liddle, Julia Mosley and Megan Dixon-Hood are anything to go by, then you better be prepared for the storm that’s about to hit you.