The Story of a Gig - Diamond Skies + Burjon
Updated: Sep 17
Words by Ben Grace
Images by Marisa Jackman
As we took our seats in our booked seating for the night, it was clear that this was more than just an ordinary gig. As cliché as it sounds, a bit of magic seemed to have hung in the air. When the talented individuals took to the front bar stage, our moods were instantly lifted - this had been what people were missing, albeit in a slightly different capacity. I, like many others, use music and gigs as an outlet to deal with the bullsh*t of the world and share it with our friends and those around us. Being one of the first sit down shows I’ve been to I was a little apprehensive, but that apprehension went out the window when the first note was struck.
Tonight’s line up consisted of Burjon and Diamond Skies in the front room of The Gov. I have covered Burjon before, and you can check everything you need to know about them in my previous article right here. For someone who has only been in the main room of The Gov (I know shame on me), I was blown away by the old school décor and the photo wall of gigs past. It had an essence of invitation to come sit down and enjoy a drink while you rock out to your favourite locals. For anyone who has not been to this historic venue, I highly recommend it.
I was lucky enough to run into Aidan Moller from Burjon before the show. We got talking about how Covid-19 has impacted the entertainment industry. Nevertheless, he was enthusiastic to play a show again as he tells me…
A: I feel a bit of nerves, it’s suppressed excitement, but mostly I can’t wait to just start playing. There's something about not being on stage (in front of a live crowd) for half a year that makes the first gig back feel so much more... like there's all that build-up and in a minute you know that you'll be doing exactly what you've been waiting to do all this time.
Our conversation was interrupted by the sounds of Diamond Skies tuning for their set. Going our separate ways, I took my seat and waited with anticipation to see what the Adelaide folk band was about to conjure up.
The full band was not on stage, so a stripped back acoustic set was to start off the night. Their Facebook page describes themselves as an Adelaide-based folk-pop band that's all about the harmonies. This description could not be more accurate. When the harmonies struck it was like finding vocal gold. Looking around, the crowd was evidently in awe of the band's sound. Their set had a nice balance of slow jams that make you want to join in on the harmonies as well as more upbeat songs that make you want to boogie in your chair. Lead singer Lauren Koopowitz’s voice had the perfect mix of folk and pop with Lucas Sly’s guitar and Erin Moller’s keys being the perfect accompaniment. The bar was set very high when they finished their set.
I was thinking to myself that Diamond Skies would be a hard act to follow. As Burjon was setting up, I saw they only had five of the seventeen members in attendance. Despite this, you could tell by the anticipation on their faces, they were setting up for something big. They even had to put rags on the drums to quiet them down. If I decided to stay in the front row my head would have been blown off! So, watching from the side of the stage seemed like the wisest choice.
I have lost count how many times I have seen this band. They all know how to damn play, and they always put on a good show. I don’t know how else to describe their set on this night in any way except that they fu*king brought it! This set was ridiculously tight, and all their songs had an extra level of ‘umph’ to them. Quarantine must have made them go crazy because you could tell that they were itching to play.
The major highlight of the night was when the band closed with the crowd favourite “Grasshopper”. My humble way of describing this song is as a heavy metal trippy prog piece that brings King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and Gojira fans together. Check out the recorded version here. Live, this song is a deceptive beast. From the calming intro that the song toys with you, to the massive crescendo jam/ breakdown that was even better than the recorded piece, it is truly explosive. Other highlights include Joe Muller's furious playing, Zed’s Crawford’s drumming interpretation of the songs and Caitlyn Hearne’s vocals that literally got the crowd screaming throughout the songs. Finally, to the two punters starting their own two-man mosh during the jam/breakdown of grasshopper. Kudos to you! It was clear that nothing would stop them from having a good time.
After that performance, I was in awe. I had to go up to Aidan and congratulate him on a show well done. I asked him about his thoughts on the show. He had this to say.
A: After the show it was just pure joy. I knew that we'd given it our all, and a few people came up after the show to say hi. When you have instant feedback like that and you know you've given it your best, that's what makes it all worthwhile.
Worthwhile indeed. My night ended with me helping Burjon load out their gear and having one last drink before I headed home. Not trying to be too predictable and end on a warm and fuzzy note, but the solace I can find in these strange and stressful times is that the musicians are hungry to play again, and this is all temporary. If this was only the start of gigs coming back, I can’t wait to get up and mosh with my friends. Check out the artists below: Burjon: Facebook Youtube Triple J Unearthed Diamond Skies: Facebook Youtube Instagram
More of Marisa's work on her Instagram here