‘Almost Famous’ with the Soulection Crew on their Australian Tour

It's taken me a while to post this review about my time with the Soulection crew in Sydney and Melbourne, and to be honest, it's been ready for a couple of days now but I haven't been 100% happy with it. I've read through it over and over and I don't know what else I can change so here's the best version of what I've written. I hope you enjoy the words that are shared and that you'll be able to picture what happened if you weren't there. Peace.

LESTER BANGS
Aw, man. You made friends with them!
See, friendship is the booze they feed
you. They want you to get drunk on
feeling like you belong.

WILLIAM
(ruefully)
Well, it was fun.

LESTER BANGS
They make you feel cool. And hey. I
met you. You are not “cool.”

WILLIAM
I know. Even when I thought I was, I
knew I wasn’t.

LESTER BANGS
That’s because we are uncool! And
while women will always be a problem for
guys like us, most of the great art in
the world is about that very problem.
Good-looking people have no spine!
Their art never lasts! They get the
girls, but we’re smarter.

WILLIAM
I can really see that now.

LESTER BANGS
Yeah, great art is about conflict and
pain and guilt and longing and love
disguised as sex, and sex disguised as
love… and let’s face it, you got a
big head start.

WILLIAM
I’m glad you were home.

LESTER BANGS
I’m always home! I’m uncool!

WILLIAM
Me too!

LESTER BANGS
(leveling)
The only true currency in this bankrupt
world is what we share with someone
else when we’re uncool.

WILLIAM
(distraught)
I feel better

LESTER BANGS
My advice to you. I know you think
those guys are your friends. You want
to be a true friend to them?

William takes a deep breath. Looks at the research cassettes and
notebooks. The empty page.

LESTER BANGS
Be honest and unmerciful.

Does this scene sound familiar?

It’s because it’s one of my favourite scenes from the movie “Almost Famous” – but in all honesty, during the time that I was spending time with Soulection‘s The Whooligan, Joe Kay and E$TA, I felt like I was reprising the role of William Miller in that movie – minus the terrifying plane ride and the death-defying “I’m on DRUGS!” jump into the pool at that party 😉 – and while we’re at, let’s replace Stillwater’s rock music with Soulection‘s mix of trap, electro, R&B and house grooves.

In some ways, the time I spent with the Soulection crew was all a blur: think little to no sleep, way too much alcohol, too many names to remember, delayed flights, scheduled mix-ups, band-aids, crowd-surfing, late, late nights, a last-minute after-party, and a whole lot of celebrating of great incredible music.

If I didn’t have to go into detail, that would probably give you a glimpse of what went on during those 7 days…

You’ve probably heard Soulection described in many ways and I’m here to tell you that none of it is a fabrication. What’s written about them is all true:
Soulection is a movement, a culture, an independent brand that is encouraging their artists to create the sound of tomorrow.

Their roster of artists are throwing out the rulebook and fusing together genres that shouldn’t work but do. Soulection are pushing boundaries in music. They’re disrupting the industry in every single way possible and it’s about time the rest of the world took notice.

Big Pimpin' x Get Your Freak On ~ mixed by @thewhooligan 🙌🏼

A video posted by @the5to9life on

Sydney was lucky to have The Whooligan, Joe Kay and E$TA play two shows – 7 nights apart – and of course, I was there at both. The first show was a different crowd to the latter, but both nights were just as crazy as the other. The crowd was full-on at their first Sydney show – so much so, that their fans were jumping up and down so hard, we found out after the show, that they broke the tiles of the floor of the venue! Say Whaat? Fan-boys galore, though.
Unrelated Side Note: If you’re a single girl, the place to be to meet a guy would be at a Soulection party (#justsaying) – and that’s what it is. A party.

The Whooligan, E$TA and Joe Kay make each show seem like one massive party. Sure, they will curate and play the music, but they also take the opportunity to go into the crowds and hang out, talk to their fans and they may even do a bit of crowd-surfing.

Photo captured by Melissa Cowan
Photo captured by Melissa Cowan

And that’s exactly what happened the next night at their Melbourne show. Yes, as crazy as it may be; I jumped on a plane and went along for the ride at their Melbourne show too.

Press play on the video at the top of this post if you don’t believe us about the crowd-surfing comment. And the photo above will pretty make you wish that you were there. I’ve never seen anything like it. Well, I’ve never seen anything that close – up front.

Melbourne was also probably the only city that received a last-minute after-party with the crew three hours later in the next room at the same venue. Not sure how they pulled it off, but they did. I suppose a lot of the efforts and teamwork came from Jerry Poon and The Operatives team so props to them for making it happen – successfully.

Joe Kay in Melbourne from the5to9life on Vimeo.

When the boys flew to Auckland a couple days later, I flew back home to Sydney and went back to my 9-5, not that anyone at my day job really knew about this other life/crazy trip I had been on for the past few days. It’s kinda funny, reflecting on it… it’s like I’m leading a secret double life. 😉

Anyhow, let’s skip the day job and go straight to the second Sydney show which also happened to be a sold-out night. That night was different, though, as I mentioned previously, compared to their first Sydney show. The vibes and atmosphere from that night was just on an entirely different level.

It was a night where I wasn’t thinking about reviewing the performance of the boys, but rather I just wanted to immerse myself in their music, dance along with my friends, and have shots at the bar with the Soulection boys in between each other’s sets. Yep, that happened. After all, it was their last AUS/NZ show of the tour so it was only right that they let loose just a little.

It was one of those nights where you start off expecting very little and end up with a whole lot of everything.

E$TA in Melbourne from the5to9life on Vimeo.

The next day was their last day in the country and thankfully there were no shows, no press commitments, no interviews, etc so they could just do whatever they wanted to do.

I hung out with The Whooligan for most of the day – at this point, I should probably tell you that I do not refer to him as The Whooligan when we hang out lol and ended up taking him around the city of Sydney. Alas, I did not get to say a proper goodbye to the three but I know they’ll all be back soon.

I don’t remember which night it was, but at one of the parties/shows, The Whooligan leaned over to me and said, ‘You’re part of the Soulection family..’

To be told something like that is a title I know that can only be earned with trust and respect. Although I’m not an artist/musician/producer/whatever, I am proud to know these artists and be part of their family. I’ve enjoyed working with them in the past and present and will always see them as my friends/family first before anything else.

I respect these guys and I’m not here to ruin their reputation with a fabrication of what may have happened. A tour as crazy as what theirs was is not what the media usually sets it out to be: namely sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

I’m just sharing what I remember from my time with the boys. Sure, there are a lot of things I’m leaving out but some things you just gotta keep close and undisclosed.

Anyhow, here’s to the next time they’re in Australia, whenever that may be. Just know that when that time comes, I’ll be there and ready for whatever they bring to the table.

I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend with them – as a friend and a fan of their work – and would never ever think to take one single moment for granted.

In the words of Joe Kay and a message that I heard multiple times during my time with them, “DO WHAT YOU LOVE”. It’s both simple and effective.

Joe Kay, The Whooligan and E$TA

All video footage captured by The 5 to 9 Life.