Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2015

Dan Sultan – Dirty Ground Tour, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 21 February 2015

The temperature was thirty-five degrees and as the sun went down, the audience filed out of the legendary Aurora Spiegeltent, hot and bothered. It was less the weather, and more Dan Sultan in his “Dirty Ground” tour who in an after dinner show, raised the collective blood pressure.

With a simple wave as he strolled casually on stage, Sultan began his set. He is a grizzly fellow, a dominating presence at that, but his self-assurance is comforting.

It was a quiet show and in keeping with the Spiegaltent’s facilities, Sultan appeared on his own. He works hard for the audience because it is, after all, only him up there.

His emotional heights are dizzying: from powerful ballads, angry stories of broken hearts, to love of his country. It’s not all brute force, he has the guts to be sensitive in his music. He is, unequivocally, Australia’s rock and roll sweet heart. His music has a serious conviction, but between songs his pragmatic storytelling could be at home in a rural pub. His banter is met by raucous laughter and there it is: that sideways smile.

Sultan is the ultimate rocker: easy-going, witty and charming. He can reach the sweet tenors of a country music ballad, through to the rust and nails of rock. He pumps them out fast and in an epic moment of musical rage, despair and perfectly executed guitar, he brings us a taste of the spectacle, the highlight of the evening, ‘Rattlesnake.’

The music industry is dominated by ever increasing bells, whistles, lights, flashing and at times, it’s there to distract. Every so often, you are fortunate enough to see someone with a dynamite voice, watertight handle on the blues and most importantly, knows how to spin a good old Aussie ‘yarn.’

You get the sense Sultan is an understated kind of guy, because the hour was essentially, a man and his guitar. Far from having a problem with it, the audience seemed relieved to watch someone just play. It’s an enormous task; to entertain and compete with all the other distractive elements at his disposal.  Really, there is no comparison, he has got the goods.

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This post was written by who has written 6 posts on Buzzcuts.

Olivia Wells is a freelance writer who studied creative writing student with the University of Adelaide. She is inspired by the environment and spends her time scratching simple stories of rural and urban Australian life in a messy notebook. She has a particular interest in review writing for music, theatre and arts and plans to publish a short story anthology by years end.

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