Brunswick Music Festival 2016: Moxie, Saoirse, and Zeon

Continuing the Brunswick Music Festival’s skill of giving a stage to all the great international acts in town, Wednesday night, also known as St Patrick’s day eve, was a night for the Irish to show what they had. And they had Moxie.

Supported by local at Saoirse, with slow beautiful harmonies, and Zeon, a five piece that brought a kick of energy to precede the main act. After Shooglenifty the previous night, where a majority of the audience was out of their seats dancing by the end of the support act, the two young women dancing to the side of the very full but very seated audience was a big contrast. Zeon had a great chemistry not just in their music, but their conversation and adorable little side swipes at each other’s interior design skills.  Special mention to their violinist who had me a little mesmerised with his rapid fiddling.

From the opening song, there were a few sound mixing issues, and this ended up being a running theme throughout the night. It wasn’t until the following night during Spiro, with a different sound engineer, that I realised how beautiful the town hall equipment could sound. So I feel a little like I missed out on the full glory of Moxie, but it was still pretty darned glorious.

Fresh from the Port Fairy Folk Festival, with the comically bright flared leggings to prove it, and a hell of a lot of energy, were the 5-piece Moxie. It was as if One Direction were all Irish and had devoted themselves to becoming Celtic Rock prodigies.

It’s very hard to describe Moxie’s style- I stole ‘Celtic Rock’ from their facebook page but some songs ventured into traditional territory, some into pop… it was all a really interesting nod to the traditional Celtic styles they would have trained in and grown up with, melded with their own individuality and other influences from more recent eras. Or, as they said, ‘we don’t know what we are’.

Unsurprisingly, the Irish lads were hilarious in their between-song chatter, telling stories of landing in Melbourne to 38 degree heat and subsequent sunstroke (rookie mistake), and the discovery that the two brothers in the band were distantly, distantly related to our own Dame Nellie Melba. We’ll take it.

The standout from Moxie was the absolutely flawless drumming of Paddy Hazleton – in every song I began focusing on the drums alone and the way they were tying together each element. Moxie had a way of seamlessly taking the audience from mellow and soft to fast and loud and back again, stopping for a bit of a chat, and then getting right back into it with high energy and toe tapping brilliance. If only I was brave enough to join the dance revolution…


Jasmin Ashton is a PR whiz and freelance writer/designer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about pretty much everything. Find her at @Jasmanna.

The Brunswick Music Festival runs 15-20 March 2016. Read our guide to the best of the festival.
Some venues are accessible. 

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Penney & Logan.
Photo credit: Brunswick Music Festival.