Newtown Social Club, 27/01/17
Review by Cameron Colwell (no relation)
An elderly gentleman, Jon Hawley (90), is sitting on the floor of the Newtown Social Club. He has a sketch pad and black marker, which he slashes across the page like a switchblade. Over the course of the gig, as punters dance around him, the monotone image comes together.
Opening supports, Sydney newcomers ELKI and Okin Osan, gradually built the energy in the room with their infectious pop stylings.
Jack Colwell returned with his full band to the Newtown Social Club and delivered a set of promising new songs and tracks from his 2015 EP Only When Flooded Could I Let Go. Colwell’s performance was – as always – intense, but he avoided maudlin territory by employing a keen sense of refinement.
Highlights included the reliably moving ‘Don’t Cry Those Tears’, a haunting, slow cover of Garbage’s ‘Only Happy When It Rains’, and ‘No Mercy’ an unapologetically queer song targeted at an imaginary bully. Also of note was the unsettling and guttural ‘Conversion Therapy’ a track from his upcoming album, which Colwell, during one of his rounds of banter, told the lively audience was part of a push towards more political lyrical content.
Whatever road Colwell decides to take in future, this high-energy Sydney show offered an exciting teaser of things to come.