In her former life, Tash Sultana was busking on the streets of Melbourne, showcasing her raw, self-made talent as “The One Woman Show”. Since then, the 22-year old has proven to be an unstoppable force, accumulating millions of YouTube hits for her ardent performances and seamless ease at combining folk, reggae, and funk. Now, Sultana is performing sold-out world tours, including the much-anticipated London show at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire; one of her biggest shows to date. All of these achievements come following the release of her debut EP Notion of last year.
Here to “make amends” for her previously cancelled London show earlier this year, Sultana took to the stage in complete disbelief at the sheer size and willingness of the crowd to gaze in awe at her arsenal of instruments waiting to be played. Launching herself into unpredictable bouts of groovy bass lines and jarring guitar chords, Sultana begins her set with ‘Big Smoke’ – a two-part funk/soul-driven song followed closely by ‘Gemini’ which has the crowd basking in the mellowness of the sustained, soft notes of the keys.
‘Murder to the Mind’ continues these similar tropes as Sultana exudes such silky-smooth singing and rapping over groovy bass lines and extended synth sequences. The mid-section to her set sees her experiment with different a variety of instrumental effects, including pan-flutes, mandolins, and trumpets. Seamlessly oscillating between songs and grooves, Sultana consistently surprises the audience with her natural ability to add impromptu solos throughout her set. Blurring the lines of her songs, no one can fault her for taking unexpected yet brave twists within her set.
Ending the set with her two most famous singles ‘Notion’ and ‘Jungle’, the crowd reciprocates Sultana’s genuine passion for the music – grooving to the electronic off-beats which provide the platform for her experimental guitar and synth riffs. With a rapturous applause at the show’s finale, Sultana has ultimately been redeemed for her initial postponement of the show, leaving them hungry for more of the “The One Woman Show”.