Last Sunday, the 13th of April, local emcee Alex Ford launched his The Wild Imagination EP at The Ellington Jazz Club, supported by a slew of local acts including the live band Premiss and well-known local singer Sarah Pellicano. The launch also included a closing performance from American vocalist, producer, DJ Miles Bonny, who also featured on Ford’s EP and was touring around Australia for the second time.
Telling the crowd he decided he wanted to launch his EP at the Ellington after a drunken night there, Ford, joined by the 7-man band Premiss, performed tracks from his EP produced entirely by Esta, an American producer signed to the Los Angeles label Soulection. Soulection are making major waves in the music industry internationally and the collaboration for Ford was “awesome”.
Like any performance at the Ellington, the vibe was cool and relaxed with featured artists jumping on and off stage throughout the afternoon. The humble sized audience of family, friends and fans either seated at their reserved tables or floating around the bar space, drink in hand, facing the stage.
Kicking off the afternoon’s proceedings, Ford was joined on stage by seasoned performer Pellicano to give us All Alone, with Pellicano giving us what we’ve come to expect from her; beautiful, haunting vocals that were only amplified by the modest venue. Having seen Ford perform before, he gave a strong performance but was still fairly subdued in comparison to other artists who jumped up on stage to assist during his set.
For the EP single, Sea of Desire, Ford was joined on stage by fellow local emcee Marksman and Miles Bonny but unfortunately no Coin Banks, who was billed to perform. The smooth track was enhanced by the live instruments, thanks to Premiss, and Bonny who also performed the trumpet.
Later in his set, Ford was joined by singer Aaron Malone, also known as Whiskey Winter. Malone is another local artist who has a striking voice, and the combination of Malone’s voice with Ford’s rapping makes for some seriously beautiful sounds. The performance of Saving Grace, a highlight for me that afternoon.
Miles Bonny performed for the second time that week in Perth that afternoon giving the audience a mixture of his own releases, covers and intermittent trumpet playing, demonstrating what an exceptional artist he is. Bonny is a peculiar but charismatic man who joked between songs with the audience and the band, whilst wearing a button down and some very baggy track suit pants.
Highlights of his set included his cover of Bill Withers‘ Ain’t No Sunshine and his unreleased track Impulse, which featured a great flute piece from local artist/promoter/bartender Brendan Scott Grey. Bonny closed his set with an extended performance of It’s Your World and an instrumental jam with Premiss, allowing each band member to give a solo performance.
Alex Ford’s The Wild Imagination EP launch combined with Miles Bonny’s performance made for an extremely pleasant afternoon of music, and was a nice change from the usual alcohol-soaked hip hop launches at the local pub/hotel venue.
By Kylie de Vos