MMW: The Harpoons, Fortunes and Sampa the Great fill the Cathedral

Melbourne Music Week has kicked it out of the park this year.

Acclaim Magazine and Paradise curated one of my dream lineups for a night in the MMW hub for 2017, the ever-so-casual St Paul’s Cathedral.

Unfortunately, I missed openers Marcus Whale and Spike Fuck while trying to track down my ticket. I’ve seen Spike Fuck perform a few times and they always bring chaotic glory to every stage, so I’m sad to have missed them.

Melbourne act The Harpoons filled every inch of the cathedral, lead singer Bec Rigby’s voice bouncing around as she put her all into every note. I was surrounded by hundreds of people singing along to every word, which is a pretty magical experience in itself, let alone while in such an amazing venue. Earlier in the day thousands of people had gathered just outside the cathedral to protest the governments actions on Manus island, and as a complement to this Bec had stitched ‘evacuate Manus now’ on her dress – she spoke about the need to use platforms to speak about important issues and urged everyone to attend future rallies. Some people aren’t fans of the mixing of politics and music, but I think they’re essentially mixed, and the outspokenness of some of my favourite Melbourne musicians is just as idol-worthy as their musical prowess.

Next on was Fortunes – I’ve been listening to the duo for months, not realising they were locals (If you’re from NZ and you’re skilled at anything, we automatically claim you. It’s in the rules). They started out with their bangers early, tapering off into more ballad-esque love songs towards the end of their set, each still with a lovely story and wonderful delivery. When they sang their new song ‘Daddies’, released as part of the Yes campaign, the energy in the cathedral was amazing, causing chorus sing-alongs and renewed dancing in the pews.

The final live act for the night was the inimitable Sampa the Great.

I love Sampa, it’s no secret.

With an amazing band and flawless backup singer in the form of Thando (one of the best voices in Melbourne), Sampa had the entire front of the cathedral filled to the brim and dancing away to songs new and old, radiating endless positivity. She invited a bunch of great artists on to sing with her, including Remi and a choir of her friends who all happen to have magical voices. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues that meant the guests weren’t overly audible for a lot of their appearances. This wasn’t a total kicker, but it was hard to watch every amazing artist giving their all without knowing the crowd couldn’t hear.

The highlight of the set (other than FEMALE which is always the crowd favourite) was Sampa and Thando performing ‘Black Girl Magic’.

Paradise and Acclaim put on a flipping amazing show, which has me considering attendance to Paradise next year if this is a sign of their lineup potential. Fortunes, the Harpoons and Sampa the Great are three of the best acts around at the moment, and sticking them on stage in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city was a sure fire way to have an amazing show.

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

Melbourne Music Week runs 17-25 November 2018. View the full program.
Many venues are accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Positive Feedback and Melbourne Music Week.
Image credit: Paradise.