There is nothing more therapeutic after a long week than spending a Sunday night at The Gov listening to the soothing sounds of two incredibly talented artists from Byron Bay. Following a successful show at Jive back in December last year, coastal folk singer, Ziggy Alberts took to the stage to captivate the crowd with his beautiful music and also share his unique life experiences after living in a van, being home schooled and developing a strong passion for the environmental. Since releasing his debut album, Land & Sea in 2014, Alberts has built a strong local and international following with only the help of a few friends and family. Alberts stopped by The Gov in support of his recently released EP, Four Feet In The Forest, which sees him explore environmental and social issues whilst maturely articulating his personal battle with maintaining his health whilst developing his musical career.
Hailing originally from Canada, was Byron Bay folk musician, Garrett Kato, who was no stranger to Adelaide after performing at The Porch Sessions earlier this year. He delivered an hour-long set filled with stunning folk melodies, delicate guitar work and deep, emotive lyrics. There were a few unfortunate moments where the audience chatter drowned out the music, which obviously frustrated Kato, who asked whether people had come to see a performance or to talk to their friends. In comparison to Alberts, Kato had a much darker sense of humour, sharing stories about his crazy ex-girlfriends and ruining his musical career by moving to Australia after one of his tracks got played on national Canadian radio. Highlights from his set was Trouble Will Find Me, which was about realising that sometimes you're the asshole instead of blaming everyone else and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, which he dedicated to his mum.
It is very rare that an independent artist can nearly sell out The Gov, with the near 600 people in the room stumbling upon Alberts' music from a variety of unique avenues, none of which include mainstream media. The entire room was in awe as Alberts launched into his opening track, immediately putting a spell over the crowd with his unique, delicate guitar strumming and deep, heart-warming vocals. Prior to each song he asks, “Do you mind if I tell you something?” before launching into a story about his life experiences and what inspired the songwriting. At only 22 years of age, he shared that eighteen months ago he broke up with alcohol whilst travelling through Europe, saying, "It's not you, it's not me, it's just the situation," before jumping into Used To off his debut album.
Alberts played tracks off both Land & Sea and Four Feet In The Forrest, sharing that both are built off different experiences and therefore offer something different to the world. His pure optimism and kind-hearted nature can inspire anyone do to better, as he shares how he believes that too look after the environment, one must also look after one's self, as well as trying to figure out what one can offer the world. He shared how he was brought up with hippie parents and therefore was only allowed to watch Captain Planet and the Planeteers, which inevitably inspired his track, Better Off (The Captain Planet Song). Ultimate crowd favourites from the intimate performance included Coffee (The Market Song) and Gone (The Pocahontas Song). The night slowly came to a close, but not before Alberts shared the story of an ex-girlfriend who broke his heart more than once and he tried to express the situation by perfectly reenacting the seen in The Notebook where Noah (Ryan Gosling) asks Allie (Rachel McAdams) "What do you want?" He finished the night with Runaway, with the crowd begging for more despite Alberts delivering a two hour set.
All in all, Alberts is an absolute delight to see live, delivering something refreshing and stunning at the same time. It is no surprise that so many people came out to see the Byron Bay heart throb and wont be long until he is selling out tours across the world.
Header image via Kate Sansome