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ILUKA RETURNS TO THE STAGE IN SYDNEY

The singer was joined on stage by her recent collaborators, Lime Cordiale!

Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Sydney songstress ILUKA took to the stage at The Vanguard in Sydney over the weekend, launching her new single and collaboration with Aussie trailblazers Lime Cordiale, Mess. The sold-out performance offered a night of stellar emerging Australian talent, with support sets from EJ Worland and Shalane Connors.


Grafton actor and singer Shalane Connors treated the audience to an acoustic set, taking to the stage with guitar in hand. Traversing themes of love, loss and the naughty moments you can find in fairytales, Connors’ conversational lyricism stood out within the set. The singer closed her performance with a good old fashioned sing along, teaching the crowd the melody to a song and using their vocals as the sole backing.


Fresh off the release of his debut EP, No One Left To Blame, EJ Worland brought the rhythm and blues to Newtown, with his signature brand of timeless grooves. Opening with Do Better (Make Me Wanna Scream), the musician channels Stevie Wonder timeless grooves, with the crowd moving along to the infectious performance. Worland’s set created an intimate moment between the musician and the audience, bringing soul to each song full of foot-stomping drums, vibrant soundscapes and mesmerising vocals. His rapport with the audience allowed for comedic moments, with Worland urging audience members to make love in the back of a commodore if they hadn’t already. Feeling like a blend of Ray LaMontagne and Tina Turner, Worland is carving out his own space in the live arena.

Decked out in floral arrangements, the scene was set for ILUKA's return to the stage. Accompanied by her four-piece band, the singer brought the dewy glow of dreamy nostalgia to her set, treating fans to a night of brand new songs, testing out the tracks in her first standing show in over a year.



One of these tracks performed was By Your Side which was written during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the singer saying the halt felt around the world allowed her the time to look inwards when creating this track. There’s an almost Bette Davis Eyes quality to the songs melody, with her smokey vocals floating throughout the venue. Another new track was inspired by the singers “love affair with the city of Los Angeles, a city that is both beautiful and terrifying”, dubbed Queen of Turbulent Hearts. Some of the songs felt like they could perfectly slot in to the soundtracks of your favourite rom-coms, whilst also showcasing the strength of ILUKA's vocals.

Nearing the end of her set, the singer invited her collaborators Lime Cordiale to the stage, to perform their single Mess, marking the first time the track was performed live. A match made in heaven, ILUKA's mesmerising vocals work in perfect unison with Lime Cordiale frontman Louis Leimbach's smooth and sultry tones. Navigating feelings of heartbreak, glory and confusion, the sing-a-long track was the perfect way to end the night, with the crowd bopping along to the infectious doo-wops and bright piano chords laced throughout the performance.



ILUKA closed her set with her 2020 single, Willing To Break. The intimate moment capped off the triumphant set with the singers vocals enchanting audiences. The evening was the perfect blend of nostalgic sounds within a contemporary landscape. ILUKA captivated the audience with her commanding vocals, with bewitching harmonies from the remainder of the band swelling throughout the venue. Working cohesively together, the singer and her band were in perfect sync, with ILUKA herself at times picking up the guitar and tambourine, showing off her own multi-instrumental skills.


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