Olympia @ GOMA Up Late

Reaching olympic levels

I hadn't been to GOMA since primary school, so when I saw that Olympia was going to play as part of their Up-Late series, I jumped at the chance. 

Before the show I walked around the Marvel exhibition, which showcased all sorts of goodies from the marvel world - costumes, props, drawings and other multimedia artforms decorated the walls, making it seem like a set from another galaxy. The attraction had pulled people from all age groups - from really little kids, unimpressed teenagers, middle aged women and older men. 

Soon it was time for Olympia to take to the stage. Dressed extravagently as always in a red long sleeved jumpsuit and platform glittery heels, she commanded all eyes to the stage and her mere presence hushed the still chattering people at the back of the crowd. 

Long static changed into the opening chords of Honey and then to the flowing melody of Fishing Knots / Blood Vessels. Her unexpectedly cute voice then broke the spell as she greeted the crowd and introduced herself; she laughed as she accidentally introduced the wrong next song. Distant Cities was followed by an anecdote about feeling vulnerable in Brisbane - maybe because her dad was there - but also because the fan base here is so different to in other cities. 

A part of what makes Olympia so great is her witty, flippant stage banter, that tends to go off on hilarious, (but unrelated) tangents. Whilst tuning her guitar, she proceeded talk about watching crime docos and how she could probably get away with murder (hence why she changes her hair so often). But it's never awkward when she transitions back into the music, and an unexpected Blue Light Disco was entracing, before finishing her set with crowd favourites Tourists and Smoke Signals, and a cover of 

The gig was definitely different to a usual Olympia experience - there were no huge strobe lights, no profanity and a subdued (and underage) crowd, but nonetheless it was still a show to see. Olympia has honed her craft to a tee. 

Olivia Shoesmith

Photography by Rachel Long

Zed Facts

When 4ZZZ's original space was being built by hand under the Schonell Theatre at Queensland University, a baby grand piano from the theatre above was bricked in to Studio 3. We don't know how they got it out...