The most masterful of Geraldton musicians banded together on Friday night to perform an array of original songs inspired by the seaside city in a show aptly named Songs from 6530. The star of the night was special guest Matt Gresham from Perth, winner of the 2017 International Songwriting Competition and X Factor Australia 2013 and The Voice Australia 2020 contestant. Clearly a professional, his acoustic performance was a whole-of-body experience for him and the audience. He used his guitar to create beats while he made a heartbeat sound-effect with the microphone and stamped his foot like a bass drum, adding tension to a later part of the song. Comparable to Ed Sheeran, his voice was so powerful he didn’t even need to stand close to the microphone for it to permeate the room, and the crowd clapped along as he demonstrated his amazing vocal range and dynamics. Gresham was crying by the end, or was such a great actor he added that final drama to an already emotional act. Show-opener Darcy Hay was a highlight of the evening, with his bush poet style of talk-singing combined with bars of one-handed guitar picking solidifying his cool but down-to-earth presence on stage. His gruff but charming vocals, which sounded strategically out of tune in parts, told in first person the story of a “blackfella” named Texas Dann who grew up around Boundary Road and dreamed of being a crayfisherman. When he was not singing he had a staid look on his face as he pulled it back from the microphone, but later showed an equally entertaining but more fun side when he jammed out on the harmonica, solo and during group numbers. The smooth voice of Sarah O’Malley, who regularly performs as Xhalisse, induced chills, while her slightly husky phrases added to the soul of her performance. Intense harmonies embodied the song’s title Jellyfish Apocalyspe, with a kaleidoscope melody filling the room and swirling around the audience with an underwater quality. Ian Weggler’s music had a cool beat, sound and feel that was funky but subdued. The casual beachside rock feel later made way, as soon as he took his man bun out and shook his hair around, with his voice and the all-around sound instantly sounding clearer and the music more cheery. The 21-year-old was also part of the house backing band and rocked multiple guitar solos throughout the night. Rosie Sitorus’ performance was moving and passionate, and she also gave an introduction honouring the fact she was performing on Yamatji land during NAIDOC Week. She had amazing harmonies with Anne Williams and Alexia Parenzee, and a strong melody which brought intensity along with the passionate lyrics and performance. It was reminiscent of a gospel church choir, not crooning for the audience, but using their talents to praise God, while honouring the elders and ancestors with movement and a soulful sound explosion. Nicky Robson and Tony Turner’s Walkaway Blues was a favourite local song of the night, mostly for the hilarious lyrics and catchy dance beat. It had a great get-up-and- dance-at-the-country-pub beat and melody, with Robson’s powerful, solid alto voice carrying the song, with expert accompaniment from her music partner Turner and the backing band. Subtle harmonies compeimented the fun song that just made everyone want to smile, with the lyrics “I’m goin’ to Walkaway baby, to get away from you ... take that cray boat baby, and sail away your blues” bound to make it Geraldton’s favourite break-up song. Toni Williams performed a beautiful piano solo, which would only have been better if it were longer. The music between sets by backing bandmates Angus and Geroge Davidson on drums and bass respectively, guitarist Weggler and creative director Josh Crothers on the keyboard kept the atmosphere up with a combination of live interludes and pre-recorded seagull and wave sounds. The only thing lacking from this concert — an album.