Review: Carla Geneve Hertz album launch at Mojos Bar
Carla Geneve Hertz album launch at Mojos Bar
w/ Nicholas Allbrook, The Wilds
Friday, November 3,2023
Seven-time WAM Song of the Year winner Carla Geneve launched her second album Hertz at Mojos on Friday night.
The North Freo venue was packed from early on, with punters pushed right back to the bar eagerly awaiting live sets from the impressive local line-up.
Up first were The Wilds, a six-piece outfit whose music defies genres, sitting somewhere between alt-country, Americana, rock and folk. The band has deservedly attracted something of a cult following over the years, and while their concerts are generally few and far between, they’re eagerly anticipated.
The band features some familiar faces from across the Perth music scene, with Chris Davis, Dan Carroll, Todd Pickett, John Wilson, Tom Garvey, and Luke Dux joining forces for the group. Pickett on drums provided the engaging banter, thanking Carla for having them along to open the night.
Their set comprised more recent songs with a smattering of older ones. Ben Power, who sat in on sax for a few of the songs, was an understated, yet perfect inclusion. The Wilds finished off their set with the massive track Not to Blame. If the opening numbers felt a little restrained, the final explosive moments were vintage Wilds.
Nicholas Allbrook took to the stage next, commenting that a solo performance after a seven-piece band was going to be tough. However – there’s no question – whether its Allbrook solo or with a band, he’s the sort of artist you can’t take your eyes off. Kicking off with the first of his songs from his latest album Manganese, Jackie set the tone for the rest of the electrifying set. The new album featured heavily throughout, but there was also a satisfying selection of songs from earlier times, including the spellbinding closer Vertigo.
After two full-on opening bands, it could have been daunting for Carla Geneve. But if it was, it didn’t show! The Albany-born singer-songwriter commanded the attention of the room, leading her incredible band through standout tracks from her already impressive discography.
Right Reasons, from Geneve’s first album Learn to Like It was an an early highlight, as were her recent Hertz standouts Bills and Jesus Take the Wheel.
Geneve played with a full band until about two thirds through when she took things down a notch for some solo tracks. These more intimate moments gave Geneve’s vocals and vivid lyricism space to breathe, with Peter Bibby joining her for a brilliantly-cast cameo on Pisswreck. The intense Spilt Milk followed, further revealing the scope of Geneve’s musical, and emotional range. Carla doesn’t wallow, she just sings as it is. It takes a lot of courage to be that vulnerable.
Then band then returned for a cover of Sheryl Crow’s nineties classic If it Makes You Happy, eliciting a big singalong with the crowd. The joyous vibe this created was a great foil for the intensity of the songs preceding it, as Geneve wrapt up a night of outstanding local music with the huge climax of early favourite Juliette.
Photos by Linda Dunjey