Reviews

Rolling Stone Live Lodge: A.B. Original

Never did I expect to see a day where Rolf Harris would be played to a sold out audience at a rap concert ­– but it happened. ‘Tie me kangaroo down’ played and 200 people stopped dancing and started booing (except for one very drunk white girl).

This is A.B. Original. Unapologetically political and unafraid to challenge the slightly warped current Australian identity.

Introduced to the stage by the villainous Million Flag Patriot (turns out five flags are far more patriotic than one), Briggs and Trials took to the stage of the Workers Club as part of Rolling Stone’s Live Lodge. Their support act, Birdz (signed to Briggs’ label Bad Apples, with DJ Marze), were beyond amazing. Birdz premiered their new song ‘Black Lives Matter’, a response to the ever-frequent deaths of indigenous Australians. They caused a (brilliant) stir at Bigsound and it was great getting to see them in action.

A.B. Original are already legendary, having only been created last year as part of Triple J’s 40thanniversary concert along with Gurrumul. Together they also created the theme for ABC’s Cleverman(which Briggs also acted in).

A.B. Original were one of the best, most energetic live acts I’ve seen in a while. The boys, along with DJ Total Eclipse, ran through a long and illustrious set that had the whole crowd with their hands in the air. We were singing along to each word we knew or just dancing in awe at the groups incredible rhyming skills.

ab-original

DJ Total Eclipse is easily the best live DJ I’ve ever seen – I mean, Fatman Scoop is a winner regardless, but when it’s being mixed perfectly and we get to shout all the good bits, it’s heaven.

Briggs brought out his prized WWE belt, and told us that all it takes to be a true champion is $600 and a PayPal account. That may be all it takes to get your hands on a fancy pants belt, but Briggs and Trials truly earn the title of champion. With a stage draped in XXL Aboriginal flags, they rapped through their catalogue of hits a million words a minute, and had the audience transfixed.

The greatest part of the night (not Rolf Harris’ feature, sorry) was A.B. Original performing ‘Take Me Home‘, one of my favourite songs of theirs featuring Gurrumul. They’re political, angry, and using their music to make a difference in the way modern Australians think – especially with their new track ‘January 26‘.

A.B. Original aren’t just a flash in the pan. They’re spearheads of a great scene of indigenous hip hop artists that are about to take the world by storm.

– Jasmin

Jasmin Ashton is a PR nerd and writer/designer from Melbourne with feelings about pretty much everything. Find them at @Jasmanna.

The Rolling Stone Live Lodge runs September 21 to October 9 at The Workers Club, Fitzroy. Check out their full program of events and read our guide.

Download A.B. Original’s songs on Bad Apples Music, and find out more on their Facebook page.

Disclaimer: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Rolling Stone Live Lodge.
Image credit: Speaker.tv and Bad Apples Music.
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