TUKA @ Jack Rabbit Slims gets 9/10

Tuka @ Jack Rabbit Slims

w/ Penny Purr, ALPHAMAMA
Friday, November 15, 2019


I stepped through the classic American diner of Jack Rabbit Slims entrance to push through the heavy doors holding back the sweet sound of ALPHAMAMA. She welcomed the audience with warmth; heart felt tones and alluring keyboard skills. Her music is expressive and emotional and the perfect introduction to the scene.


ALPHAMAMA has an extraordinary vocal range, reminiscent of FKA Twigs in some moments and Beyoncé in others. Move Me was the stand out; the crowd were lapping up its tight RnB composition. The room was filling up gradually throughout her set, then Penny Purr took to the stage to capture the spotlight.

Penny Purr

Penny Purr sharpened up the frequency with some serious exposition of conscious hip hop; there was a taste of rawness and honesty to her style. Penny Purr has some powerful stage presence and pieced together a really impressive set, and there was a ‘holy shit!’ moment when she performed her song Elevate. Bluntfield, an artist in the underground hip hop scene, jumped up for a collaborative piece which was pure fire. BZz BZz – I received a message from the event photographer Linda Dunjey – asking if I knew the names of the support artists, I knew in this moment she must have been as impressed as I was. Now that the vibe was set with such powerful supports, Tuka leapt onto the stage.


Less than a minute in Tuka (aka Brendon Tuckerman) took another leap, this time into the crowd while singing Yeah Right, drawing a circle of respect around his presence. He drew everyone in closer and then down to the ground lowering the entire room to the floor. This was the moment I knew it would be an incredible show. As Selling Me Out was Tuka’s first National tour in four years you could tell he was pumped to be there yet he maintained so much humility. Wishing a dude in the audience happy birthday, embracing a group hug, then diving into an a cappella “music makes the pain go away, music makes the pain go away” – a little piece from Thundamentals track All I See is Music. This then transitioned seamlessly into LDTE as Tuka stepped back on stage with powerful presence and crowd synchronisation.


Tuka continued with ALPHAMAMA’s support on the keys who also added a layer of harmonising vocals. This was perfect for songs like Big Jet Plane and Die a Happy Man. Some classics from the Thundamentals collection, his solo musical repertoire and recent collaborations/ Like a Versions were thrown into to the mix such as Everybody I Know, Noodle Soup, Tattoo and My Star, but of course the new release F*ck You Pay Me, plus Trailer Trash and Selling Me Out were performed too. He owned the stage and captivated the crowd, as his motions were mimicked by those die-hard fans rapping along to each piece as it unravelled.


The night drew to a close with pure electricity; everyone was resonating to the lightning they had witnessed. Tuka is an artist who is all about the music, creativity and authenticity. I stepped out of Jack Rabbit Slims, through the heavy door, into the diner and back into the balmy Perth night with a buzz. You would catch eyes with people on departure and they would say with a humble smile, “How amazing was that gig!” and then continue on their way.

If you have not been lucky enough to catch one of his live shows to date make sure you prioritise it. The event was exposure to masterful stage presence, lyrics that hit you in the soul and a bold introduction to new cats on the scene. This was an unforgettable event overall. Brendon Tuckerman is an exceptional artist and a leader in Australian hip hop. Catch him next time in Perth with Thundamentals for Christmas Eve party at the Ice Cream Factory.


Photos by Linda Dunjey

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