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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos

Under clear skies, Sydney-based six-piece Winston Surfshirt took to the Sunset Piazza stage last night, after an electrical storm saw the events of Friday nights program cancelled. Fans were ushered into the St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt to the grooves of Maia Bilyk’s DJ set as the audience members awaited the arrival of the band.

Opening with NobodyLikeYou, frontman Brett Ramson strolled on stage with a cigarette in hand, bopping along to the beat. Bringing their fusion of funk and hip-hop to the stage, the band played through Need You, Show Love and Same Same, which saw an epic trombone solo usher in the grooves for the crowd, whilst Show Love’s lighting plan went wild with each beat.

Juan picked up the pace, with Ramson dancing around on stage whilst winding up a towel and thrashing it about, all the while audience members danced along in their seats. Slowing down the pace, the band launched into Where Did All Your Love Go, before playing their collaboration with Dope Lemon, Everyday Is A Holiday, a treat that delighted audience members. Keeping the demure tempo, the band played through a handful of tracks, including TwennyFive. The six-piece picked up the pace with their cover of George Michael’s Fastlove, creating one of the sets standout moments, with more crowd members engaged within the performance.

Earlier in the set, Ramson informed audience members he’s been “told to talk more” between songs, building a slight rapport between the band and audience members. Asking the crowd, “Is this anyone’s first gig since Covid?”, Ramson was met with cheers and applause scattered throughout the audience.

Fan-favourite On The Record got the crowd moving, with Ramson pulling some power poses on stage. Met with cheers and a sing-along from the crowd, the song set the pace for the remainder of the set. Playing through Since I Saw You There, Ali D, Get To Know and Be About You, the energy was alive, with audience members tapping their feet and becoming more engaged with what was happening on stage. Closing their set with a cover of Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It, Ramson changed the lyrics from “It's Friday night and I feel all right” to “I think it’s Saturday night”, whilst fans sang and cheered along to the energetic performance.

At times, the performance lacked energy which could perhaps be due to the socially distanced sit-down nature of the show, restricting fans from getting up and dancing along. There was almost a disconnect between the band and audience members, broken up in moments where Ramson would interact with the crowd, waving and pointing at them throughout the performance. However, in its second half, the set picked up when audience members became more engaged with the band, dancing along in their seats, chanting along and taking in the experience.


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