Tora | Live at Shebeen

November 7th, 2014 | Shebeen

Look, those who know me would not describe me as a connoisseur of all things electro. Give me a sweaty mosh pit, ear piercing guitars, thundering drums and a beast of a singer maniacally screaming some indecipherable lyrics in your face and I’m there! But on Friday night I had a truly delightful awakening.

Tora, who are currently touring to promote their newest EP, Eat the Sun, stopped in at Shebeen to mesmerise Melbournians with their own chilled out brand of electro-pop. And the Byron boys didn’t disappoint, delivering a genuinely entertaining set, much to the delight of the high-spirited crowd.

Local band Leisure Suite kicked off the evening in fantastic fashion. Singer Bridgette Le projecting her warm, crooning voice into the intimate space of Shebeen’s band room. Their set of juicy, soulful beats provided the perfect taste of what was to come and their interpretation of Alicia Keys’ No One was probably the best I’ve witnessed to date.

Next up was Sydney’s La Mar, giving the nights revellers their self-described low-tempo electric soul. The duo built their set well, starting off easy, steadily building the intensity of the beats, coupling them with the clean but wonderfully charming vocals, which rose with soulful grit in all the right places.

Finally it was time for the headliners. 2014 has been a big year for Tora. Winning Triple J’s Unearthed local spot for Splendour in the Grass, supporting Miami Horror on their recent Australian tour and releasing their Eat the Sun EP. And it shows. The five-piece came to the stage with the confident look of a well-travelled unit with enough shows under their belt to produce a damn fine show. And that’s just what they did.

Their hour long set served as a showcase for the groups two EP’s playing a selection from both Tora and Eat the Sun. Beginning with the ethereal, Get Like It, Tora immediately had the crowd moving as if in a blissful trance. Moving into the oh, so chilled Calming Her, the vibe continued with smiles adorning the eager faces in the room, which stayed there for the rest of the night.

Songs from Eat the Sun were greeted with excited cheers from Tora devotees and neophytes alike. The very catchy Sugar Snap instantly raised the energy and a quick glance across the room revealed a sea of bobbing heads and bodies in motion. Tora continued to groove throughout the set, providing their own energetic on stage movement to compliment the light and colour radiating from their tunes.

The highlight of the evening for me was the fabulous guest appearances. Tora collaborators, rapper Meals and Merryn Jeann from Potato Potato joined the group on stage to deliver Overcome and Never With Me and the result was just, well, awesome!

At times it was a little difficult to appreciate the nuances of the music over the sound of the crowd (but who can complain about that!) and the ever present photographer was somewhat distracting. No disrespect to her, it was more that the size of the stage with five band members and all their equipment didn’t really give her a lot of space to work in. Despite these very minor drawbacks, overall, the night was superb. The support acts were well chosen, the venue was spot on (I especially appreciated the disco ball) and Tora delivered a tight, energetic, highly entertaining set. And whilst I won’t be abandoning the pit anytime soon, I will be looking out for chances to see Tora in the future.

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