The Sydney versus Melbourne debate will most certainly rage on for many more years to come. While no one person can make a definitive decision on this, one thing is undeniably clear: Sydneysiders woefully lag behind Melburnians in terms of supporting quality live music and local artists. Case in point: the Pocket Full of Dreams album launch of Melbourne-based hip hop crew Diafrix.
As I walked into Goodgod small club on Saturday night, I wondered where all of the music fans were? However, a relatively small but eager crowd was present and there was definitely a level of excitement in the air. So when Diafrix jumped up on stage to begin, anything that had previously been residing in my mind was promptly evicted from that space and I was enthralled by the energy given by Diafrix, their 3 backing vocalists, drummer and DJ.
Opening with Light Will Shine, Diafrix’s Momo and Azmarino didn’t miss a beat, instantly lifting the spirit and liveliness in the room and inviting us to join them in celebrating the release of their stellar album. As they went through the songs from the album such as Easy Come Easy Go, Running, and Throwback, and as the crowd grew, it became clear why this duo’s music and message has seen them play all over the world, including at the legendary Glastonbury Festival.
They perform with a level of vitality and enjoyment that some bands only reserve for the huge crowds. Replacing the arrogance often evident in international hip hop with humility, Diafrix gave the crowd no option other than to get involved and have a damn good time along with them. By the time they got to the darker, can’t-help-but-shake-your-booty number Welcome, where they invited guest performer N’fa on stage to perform with them, it was undoubtedly apparent that those hip hop lovers who hadn’t made this show had missed out.
Diafrix delivered a performance that reminded the crowd what hip hop is all about: universally uplifting, inspiring and intellectually stimulating music with a solid beat that keeps it unapologetically real.