Jude Perl live on 23 April 2014

Well, that was awkward.

On 23 April our friend Jude Perl headlined at the Northcote Social Club.

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Not so awkward that it was uncomfortable, mind you.

Jude Perl managed to hit the perfect mark. She injected just enough knowing awkwardness into her performance to have a laugh about it. Enough to be endearing. Enough to be human. Enough for us to laugh along with her. But underneath, she was calm and collected and in control of her show. It wasn’t so much raw awkwardness as it was joking about awkwardness. In the first person. It was the kind of awkwardness we could all relate to – of not know what to say, of saying too much, of asking inappropriate questions, of being in the right place at the wrong time (and vice versa).

But as fun as it was, we weren’t there for the awkwardness. We were there for the juicy soul/pop songs.

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And juicy they were. Jude effortlessly delivered hit after hit to her adoring audience. Her vocals and keyboard sounded equally smooth and felt sublime. Her backing band were just the same – never brash or harsh, they fit right into the pocket of every song. With all three contributing backing vocals behind Jude, the sound was rich and sweet. And despite some of the heavier subject matter of some of the songs (e.g. miscommunication, loyalty and unrequited love), the delivery was always fun. Jude knew we were there to have a good time and she made it her job to deliver just that.

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The visuals of the show matched the fun pop sound. Jude and her band were dressed in patterns and colours, and the lights were bold and gutsy. Greens, reds and purples flooded the stage from song to song and drew focus to different aspects of the band. Jude’s guitarist and bassist presented impressively too – more than merely standing back and disappearing into the background, they were lively and animated. They were essential in maintaining the high energy level on stage.

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Jude and her band delivered a great night of fun soul pop. Unfortunately (for us, not for her) she’s moving to LA for six months and won’t be back in Melbourne until the end of the year. Jump on her website (http://www.judeperl.com) or Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/judeperl) and stay tuned. Catch her when she gets back – you won’t be sorry.

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Photography by Obsessive Music