ABC’s ‘The Sound’ Is Bringing Live Music Back To Australian TV, Here Are Just Some Of The Show’s Standout Performances

As the global pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our nation’s beloved live music industry, ABC TV’s The Sound stands as a weekly beacon of hope for us all. Coming to our screens each Sunday, The Sound combines Australia’s finest musicians with world-class production techniques to create an unmissable hour of music television, every week.

Heading into week five, The Sound has featured some iconic performances from the likes of Nick Cave, DMA’s, The Teskey Brothers, Hockey Dad, G-Flip, Cub Sport, Amy Shark, John Butler, BENEE, Kian and many, many more. It’s been a whole lot of awesome to partake in from the couch as we continue to adjust to the 2020 of it all.

In case you missed them or like us you just want to relive them, we’ve put together a list of seven signature performances that showcase why The Sound is what you need in your life right now. So pop on your best live stream attending pyjamas, turn the volume up and get ready to lose yourself in The Sound.

DMA’S – ‘Criminals’

Every pilot episode needs a classic opening moment and episode one of The Sound absolutely had one in the form of DMA’S haunting, grand piano-led reimagining of ‘Criminals’. Performed live at Sydney’s iconic Carriageworks, DMA’S captivated the nation with a truly unique reading of The Glow cut. Watch below as the already delicate song takes on a new sense of fragility as Tommy O’Dell’s hypnotic vocals float over the top of the warm instrumental arrangement.

Jerome Farah – ‘I Can’t Breathe’

Standing out on an episode that included the aforementioned DMA’S performance AND an exclusive offering from Nick Cave at London landmark Alexandra Palace, is no small feat, but that’s exactly what Jerome Farah did with this powerful live take of his impassioned debut single ‘I Can’t Breathe’. Recorded live from Brotherwolf Barbershop in Prahran, Jerome displays stellar vocal and lyrical chops, as he transitions smoothly between vocal registers and techniques. Accompanied by an incredible backing band who seem to feed off of his natural energy, Jerome Farah lays down some vital social justice messages here, bringing the Black Lives Matter movement to Australian TV in a raw and authentic manner that deserves to be seen by, well everyone. Don’t just take our word for it though, lose yourself in this signature moment from The Sound below, this man is about to blow up, globally.

Eves Karydas – ‘Complicated’

One of the coolest things about The Sound is the opportunity that it presents for emerging artists to display their talents to a national audience. Episode two saw Eves Karydas following Jerome Farah’s lead in episode one, stealing the show from better-known acts courtesy of a truly stellar run through the absolute bop that is ‘Complicated’. Recorded live from inside Sydney’s ‘Sea Life’ Aquarium, Karydas and her band breathe fresh life into a song many of us have had on repeat since release, with an energetic and yet silky-smooth rendition, as all manner of sea creatures surround them. The way the visual and sonic elements come together as Karydas hits THAT chorus is enough to make you smile in a way that we seldom have in 2020. Check it out below.

Adalita, Mahalia Barnes + the Soulmates, Polish Club – ‘Boys In Town’ (Divinyls)

Just as the pandemic has placed a lot of restrictions on what a show like The Sound can do, it has also presented unique opportunities. One of the most impressive and enjoyable of these opportunities that have been realised is the supergroup style tribute covers that appear in each episode. They’ve all been great, but none has ripped quite as hard for us as Adalita, Mahlia Barnes + the Soulmates and Polish Club’s, run through of the Divinyls classic ‘Boys in Town’. A firecracker of a song being performed by some of Australia’s most accomplished rockers across two states, this rendition of ‘Boys in Town’ almost holds a candle to the original. The way Adalita, Mahalia and the Polish Club boys deliver the vocals on this with such confidence and passion shows how much respect they have for this Aussie classic. Featuring shots of the late Chrissy Amphlett, interlaced with the supergroup is a nice touch and the perfect example of what can be achieved with live music TV in 2020, with a little bit of thought.


Scott Darlow with Ian Kenny ‘You Can’t See Black in the Dark’

Scott Darlow has said that ‘You Can’t See Black in the Dark’ is the song he has been trying to write for his entire career. A powerful and anthemic rocker that addresses race relations in Australia, ‘You Can’t See Black in the Dark’ is a landmark musical moment from a career muso and this performance from the First Nations section of the Melbourne Museum, featuring Ian Kenny (Birds of Tokyo, Karnivool) cutting in from Perth is a powerful audio and visual treat that does justice to the song’s quality. The way Darlow conveys his personal experience with such conviction and intensity, while trading verses with one of the world’s best rock vocalists, is brilliant and the coming together of cultures, to deliver a unified message is a long overdue sight on Aussie primetime TV. Everything from the song itself to the performance, to the production and the environment in which it is all taking place, works perfectly. As a long time advocate of both the man and his story, it is nice to finally see Scott Darlow get his chance on the national stage here on episode three.

G-Flip – ‘Hyperfine’

Taking over an empty ‘Archie Brothers: Cirque Electriq’ in Melbourne, G-Flip brought the fun to week four with a neon-lit version of ‘Hyperfine’ that no doubt had couches bumpin’ across the nation. One of the world’s most exciting pop acts, G-Flip again proved her considerable live bonafides with a flawless and fun run through with an energetic live band. The visuals are suitably hyper with the production team doing an incredible job with the unique arcade backdrop. The way G-Flip moves through the arcade, as she busts out THAT vocal is captivating, selling the song’s emotional construct, while also just looking dope. It’s kinda like that fsociety party in the arcade in Mr. Robot but you know, actually real. Don’t just take our word for it though, check it out for yourself below!

Hockey Dad

Speaking of stars on the rise, Windang skate-punk/indie upstarts Hockey Dad brought a bit of much-needed danger to episode four with a riotous rendition of their absolute banger ‘I Missed Out’. Beaming in from a house in Wollongong, Hockey Dad did what Hockey Dad do, shaking the place to its foundations as they hit every note with a ferocity and energy that radiated from the screen into your slipper wearing soul. There’s nothing fancy about what they do and, to be honest, that was pretty refreshing to see on a series that has been focussed on delivering memorable visuals, the shots of passionate and talented young men, cutting loose in the kitchen, surrounded by the mundane monuments of our current lockdown lives, might just be the most iconic of the lot. We’ve been fans of these guys since they busted out of Windang as teens and our affection isn’t going to fade anytime soon if they keep on pumping out songs like this. Turn up the TV, clear out the coffee table and get ready to mosh to this, as nature intended!

‘The Sound’ airs Sundays at 5.30pm on ABC and repeats the following Saturdays, 12.30pm on ABC. Also available to stream on view. Head here for this week’s lineup.

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