Checking-in to check out Safari Motel

Gig Review: Safari Motel
Mornington Peninsula Brewery
Sunday 6th July 2014

Winter has officially blustered in over the past few weeks, forcing many Southerners to don their trakkies and ugg boots and mutate into some sort of couch-bound agoraphobes. Luckily for those of us willing to embrace the cooler climate and additional non fleecy-lined wardrobe stylings it affords us, the Melbourne music scene never goes into hibernation. And so it was on this lazy Sunday afternoon that I ventured down to the Mornington Peninsula Brewery to catch local legends, Safari Motel. The Melbourne 5-piece outfit had temperatures inside the venue soaring as they delivered around three hours of uniquely funked-up covers and instantly likeable originals.

With a range of award-winning boutique beers on tap and deliciously moreish wood-fired pizzas being made to order, the Mornington Brewery provided the perfect social vibe to imbibe the smooth soul and refreshing funk that Safari Motel were dishing out. Lead singer, Nicole Nehemia is a powerhouse performer with a voice that perfectly compliments the band and their musical style…. strong enough to keep you transfixed through every note, yet tender enough to showcase the undeniable talents of the other band members.

As the hours passed, the lunch time crowd thinned out, leaving the true music fans the privilege of enjoying the remainder of the set a few notches louder and several degrees funkier! The band slipped effortlessly between genres such as soul, blues, funk, reggae and even rock, watermarking each with their own unique sound and style. Incredibly they dropped 10 new tracks on the day, but you wouldn’t have guessed it- everything sounded so polished it was as if they had been performing the set-list for years. A few of my personal faves for the day included the track that finally got people unglued from their seats- Stevie Wonder’s Master Blaster; an unexpected and thoroughly unique rendition of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army; one of my perennial favourites and a song that seemed to fit Safari Motel like a glove- Bill Withers’ Use Me; and a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Fire that was so smokin’ hot, it threatened to set off the smoke detectors in the venue!

Combined with a smattering of original tunes, Safari Motel proved that they are way beyond your regular cover band, and one that I will eagerly await to hear more from in future. If you live in Melbourne, I can highly recommend replacing your uggies with your dancing shoes, and venturing out to check-in for an afternoon or evening with Safari Motel! You can follow them on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming gig dates and locations, see band pics and hear some of their great music.

Get out there and support our fantastic local music scene!













(photo credit: Andy Phillips)

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