Words by Sophie Edwards
When I walked into the soundcheck for Lucy Sugerman’s single launch for her brand new song 'i wanna kiss boys cos im bored' (what a title!!) I couldn’t help but feel some secondhand stress.
This relatively self-managed artist has chosen one of the largest venues in Canberra to start a new chapter in her career, and is in charge of organising her usual band of 4, an extra backup vocalist, a cellist, and a sling of special guests such as rapper Kirklandd, Endrey, and violinist Ally Hocking Howe. So many schedules to combine, so many rehearsals, so many staff members on deck all looking to Lucy for guidance. And she didn’t miss a beat the entire night. Nobody did. The audience settled into the obscurely beautiful and engaging venue, making the trip out to Gold Creek worthwhile from the minute they set foot in the space. The Abbey has recently changed ownership, so now this once under-utilised wedding and events space is being transformed into a live music venue with some of the best production specifications in town.
It is a huge space, and filling it with sound and audience is no easy feat, but as Lucy strutted around the stage, I couldn’t help but feel like I was just in her bedroom, watching her perform in front of a mirror, singing into a hairbrush. That is not to say that Lucy’s presence is immature or unprofessional by any means, but to say that the stage is her home, and she has just laid out a welcome mat for us.
Lucy was supported by rising star Finn Burton, who battled nerves to present a vulnerability that drew the audience to comradery with her and with each other. Liv Li presented a powerful pop set, working with perfectly rehearsed musicians to bring up the energy and warm up the stage perfectly for Lucy.
Lucy presented music showing the breadth of her career and capabilities. Her new song 'i wanna kiss boys cos im bored' is a harmless well-produced pop song written in conjunction with Hauskey and Muki, and marks the next world Lucy is exploring. She had the audience partying in their seats during this song, but then drawn into her storytelling during her piece 'Reach Daylight', recounting the tale of a refugee fleeing their home for a better life.
When reading about Lucy, there is such a focus on her age, her past achievements, her folk-background or her importance to the Canberra music scene. From this standpoint, one is missing the opportunity to celebrate one of Australia’s most promising pop talents. Pull up a front row seat (while they are still scarcely available) to watch the rise of this well versed, hard-working musician take over the Australian music landscape while you can.