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Review: Dru Chen launches Intentions EP at the Toff

June 11, 2013 by Erin M

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Dru Chen launched his “Intentions” EP at the Toff in Town last Sunday night and whipped everyone into a dance frenzy with his poppy soul/funk beats.

Yet there was so much more to it than simple booty-shakin and toe-tapping.

There is no single musician you can compare Dru Chen to; there are elements from many artists that layer his performance and style. Think Prince, George Clinton, Michael Jackson. Think Beyonce. Think Frank Ocean. Think Motown, gospel, soul. Think R&B and pop.

Think energy. This guy has it in bucket-loads, and it is infectious. He draws you in, and not just by accident. He wants you to be there; his performance of “Lovelight”, a sunshine-y, upbeat song, is gospel proof of that. Everyone was asked to turn on their phone lights to the music, and everyone did, creating a small, glowing sea of Gen-Y candlelight. Dru says that “connection on a soul-to-soul level” is an important factor of performance, and everyone wanted to be a part of the funky soul dripping from the stage.

Speaking of soul, Dru seems to be singing from his. That voice is like caramel, ranging from smooth, tender whispers to sexy, powerful screeches. It is polished passion, rich and close to perfection.

Then there is the band.

The seven-piece band holds the crisp, consistent image and spirit of Motown with a casual edge. They glide effortlessly from one song to the next, with velvety melodies from backup singers Travis Lee and Laura McLennan and powerful performances From Marley Berry-Pearce on drums, Matt Hayes on bass, Nick Springall of keyboards/synth and Gabby Ibbott on horns. All of them played raging killer solos and added their own sweet something to the show.

Do yourself a favour – go and see a Dru Chen performance. It is the perfect escape from the monotony of day-to-day life into an abyss of rhythm and soul and party times.

Dru is currently touring the east coast of Australia.  For more info, visit druchen.net.  Intentions EP available on bandcamp.

And if you want to see the full gallery of photos taken by Ian Bickerstaff at this event click here.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.

Author Details

Erin M

Erin M is a Monash graduate of journalism and metalsmithing. She plans on learning as many languages as she can and spends most of her time writing, working/sitting in cafes, and planning which music festival to go to next.

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