November Nights – Women of Song
Woodville Town Hall, Friday 8th November 2019
(Review by John Glennie / Photos by Robert McArthur)
This was the first of two nights of women in song at the Woodville Town Hall – as I mentioned in last week’s review of Katie Noonan, an excellent venue for live music!
Friday night’s show featured 3 of the 7 performances from Alana Jagt, Ella Hooper and Mojo Juju. This was the first time I had seen Adelaide’s own Alana Jagt and the 5-piece backing band The Monotremes, and they were outstanding. Keep an eye out for their gigs around town. She mostly played original songs from her existing Wilderness EP – including Somehow, Sometime and Lullaby (which she referred to as Songs to Sleep). We were also treated to songs such as Money and Imagining Life from her album which is due for release soon.
Next up was Ella Hooper – lead singer from Killing Heidi. Ella is always entertaining, and she did not disappoint. This was the first time I had seen her solo (with backup guitarist and keyboardist) and loved her set which kicked off with Daily Detritus – a song about breaking up and the detrimental things we don’t miss about the other person (such as toilet habits!). This was followed by the opposite sentiment where there is interest but a bit rusty, in a song called Interust. I really enjoyed all her songs – would list them but couldn’t read my writing (a legacy of trying to write notes in the dark!) – and want to see a lot more of her solo work.
The headline act was Mojo Juju, whom I saw for the first time at WOMADelaide this year. She performed with her “little bro’ Stevie” on drums. They opened with Native Tongue, a great song and my favourite of her set (see video below). Many of her songs are politically oriented or address racism, and are quite deep – great songs such as Something Wrong, Shut Your Mouth and Leave It All Behind. I was a bit disappointed with her set as would have preferred more singing and less talking. Yes, I can empathise with the racism and what she has had to endure, and it is interesting to learn the background behind a song. I am not keen on someone’s political slant being pushed to excess, and my friend and I both thought she could have been much less verbose! The music was great but there could have been more of it.
My only issue for the night was that it was supposed to start at 7:30, but was about 45 minutes late, which meant that the evening didn’t finish until nearly midnight. That made it a bit hard to concentrate toward the end after a working week. Overall though, it was an excellent show in a superb venue and I look forward to many more gigs at the Woodville Town Hall.