Reviewed on Saturday March 15
An eclectic night of music was in order as future soul queen Ngaiire hit the Oxford Art Factory for the last show of her Uranus Tour. Kicking off the night with an a cappella version of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ was Melbourne’s Hailey Cramer, whose brand of soul-meets-hip-hop highlighted the power of intricate harmonies and vocal styling to lift songs out of the ordinary. Following Cramer was Stereogamous, who took the party to Detroit circa the ’90s with their uplifting house vibes that demanded the audience dance.
The vastly different support acts would not work in any other circumstance. But when leading up to the eccentric and unique Ngaiire, it all made sense. Ngaiire may be tiny physically, but she packs a punch that is goliath. With her hair suitably styled to mimic a crown of sorts, Ngaiire commanded the crowd’s attention. She captivated with her distinctive voice that ebbed and flowed effortlessly against the backdrop of synth-heavy beats. Whether painting a picture for the audience that it’s OK to be quirky on ’Uranus’ or reaching deep into hearts on the haunting ‘Count To Ten’, one thing for sure was that she and her band never became complacent or gave anything less than 100 per cent.
By the end of the show, when she closed off with the lead track ‘Dirty Hercules’ from her album Lamentations, there were no lingering questions about whether Ngaiire deserves the title of queen of the future soul movement. With her band piecing the elaborate layers together musically and Ngaiire completing the puzzle with her inimitable persona, the show could not be faulted. While this tour may be over, there’s little doubt we’ll be seeing much more of Ngaiire around.