Drapht gives Geraldton a night to remember after security issue delayed concert

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Drapht was no boring ol' Paul as he brought the house down on Friday night
Camera IconDrapht was no boring ol' Paul as he brought the house down on Friday night Credit: Pictures: Edward Scown

At long last Drapht and his band of merry men returned to town to give the people what they have sorely missed.

For those who might be out of the loop, Drapht was set to play the Wintersun Hotel on October 15, but a last-minute drama meant they didn’t have security for the gig. Just two days out it was postponed, and Geraldton rap fans were forced to wait another month for the undisputed king of WA hip-hop to grace our ears.

If you’ve never been to a rap show before, you can expect three things: Big egos, plenty of crowd interaction, and bass so hard it blows your hair about.

Once again, the Wintersun let punters get right up close and personal with the artists. The barriers between the floor and the stage served mostly as something to lean on in between fist-bumping the guys on stage.

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One drawback was the positioning of the speakers. Standing right up front put you behind them, and with no foldbacks, it was difficult at times to make out lyrics. The best spot in the house acoustically was probably four or five rows back — but where’s the fun in that?

Once the massive line had snaked its way in, Greesy opened the night, backed up by DJ Uncle Sam. It was easy to see why Drapht called him one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the Perth scene.

Bitter Belief supported Drapht with an emotional set
Camera IconBitter Belief supported Drapht with an emotional set

Minutes later, Bitter Belief strode out solo. Sorting out his own beats between songs left room for him to chat a bit, which was a treat for someone who wasn’t particularly familiar with his catalogue.

It became clear that the disaster during Travis Scott’s set at Astroworld in Texas — where nine people were killed and hundreds injured in a crowd surge — weighed heavily on the minds of all the artists, even on this small scale. Bitter Belief urged early in his set that people “respect one another”.

Complete emerged and almost immediately the vibe changed. Greesy and Bitter Belief tackled serious subjects, and their stories resonated. Complete had his serious side too, but it takes a special talent to get a crowd hyped with songs about Mee Goreng and McDonald’s. If you haven’t heard Blood Stained Nikes, usher the kids out of the room, and give it a listen. It might be the most aggressive rap tune to come out of Australia, yet, it was the most fun track of the night. Complete brought Greesy, Bitter Belief and Omac on stage with him to smash out the now decade-old release.

After letting the crowd warm up their vocals with Hilltop Hoods’ Cosby Sweater, Drapht strode out with band in tow.

He started with Shadows on my Walls — the opening track from his latest album Shadows and Shinings — before diving head first into his extensive back catalogue.

Drapht started the show like a distance runner — slow and steady at the beginning, building up to the point where the 39-year-old looked ready to jump into the crowd by the end.

They would have caught him with glee, especially after he asked “What do you guys want to hear?” to which the crowd responded with a resounding “Jimmy Recard!”

Once again, the crowd belted out every word, like Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again for people who are too young to remember 9/11.

We were left on hold for a month, and even at the back end of a Statewide tour, Drapht and the boys made it worth the wait.

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