Adelaide trio DONNARUMMA launched their new EP Billy Billy at one of the city’s most beloved music venues – The Grace Emily – on Saturday night; an evening that was full of love and support for the players who have established themselves as more than just familiar faces on the circuit. Coming together with a wealth of experience on the live front behind them, DONNARUMMA have fashioned a live band dynamic that displays potential and a positive second half of 2017 still to come.
Unfortunately I missed out on catching Ollie English‘s solo set at the beginning of the evening (though I’m a massive fan, get to Googling for some great music), however I arrived at The Grace in time for The Luke Louie Trio. Led by Luke Ciamarella, the group doled out blues-soaked rock music that easily harked back to the 60’s and 70’s heyday of the genre. It was a shame that Ciamarella was battling a deteriorating voice on the night; had he been performing at full health, I’d wager the set would have had an added punch that was missing during this show. The talent is there though, which is more than can be said for many bands who rely on the skill of a frontman to carry a live show; it’s clear the band has a strong formula for live performance forming and it’s going to be interesting to see where they head next.
When it came to the headline set, bodies crammed into the band room and around the stage. The Grace Emily is famed for its intimate surrounds and for a show like this – a love in and celebration of the music Louis Donnarumma, Anthony Costanzo and Max Tulysewski have made – you couldn’t have asked for a better room. Constanzo’s double bass to the right of the stage was eye catching from the onset (I’d assumed a electric bass would be used), and as the show continued and the likes of Maggie Rutjens would join the band on stage, there was definitely an air in the room that this was a special show to be part of.
The Billy Billy EP was given apt time in the spotlight, with Donnarumma’s voice standing out as a strong highlight. Hit instantly with licks of Arcade Fire, The Killers and on a local front, Gang of Youths, the music is delivered with a lofty rock attitude – music that has been crafted with large rooms in mind and, with time, could easily be envisioned filling them. There’s still a ways to go with this group, as with any flourishing act, but Billy Billy has shown us that DONNARUMMA have the substance to do it and do it well.
The band’s EP tour continues to Melbourne this weekend (Whole Lotta Love, July 7th) before travelling to Wollongong (Rad Bar, July 13th) and finishing in Sydney (The Townie, July 14). Definitely get along and check these guys out.