Updated: Feb 16
Calling this one early, but Winston Surfshirt has the potential to provide the set of Splendour. With a voice that could honestly melt butter, and an insane level of production that is not too distant from old-school West Coast hip-hop, Winston Surfshirt provides the goods. The stage presence and class that this man oozes is effortless, when coupled with an astounding set of songs, you’ve got yourself an unforgettable live performance. And if recent form is anything to go by, the Splendour crowd is in for an absolute riot!
Spawning from the bustling NSW hip-hop scene of the later 2010s, Winston Surfshirt began as a solo project, grinding it out at local clubs and venues winning over the ears and hearts of many. It didn’t take long until Winston Surfshirt’s decadent tunes gathered a cult following, slowly turning the project into a 6-piece live collective. By 2016 Surfshirt featured on 2 singles with electronic funk producer Polographia (an artist Surfshirt would later join forces with to form super-group Poloshirt), his breathy vocals on both tracks started making waves, and it wasn’t long till fans were calling for more. Fast-forward to 2017 and loyal fans finally got their first ‘official’ taste of Winston Surfshirt, after extensive touring in support of Rufus Du Sol and even Midnight Oil, it was time to unleash their potential through the single Be About You. I can still remember the first time I heard the opening chimes of Be About You, driving back home from work on a Friday afternoon, turning the volume all the way up and being utterly blown away. Vocals that went down smoother than a bottle of Johnny Walker blue, drum and synth patterns that were utterly crisp in production, and the most succulent of basslines to top it all off; it was pure confidence. I shazamed it instantly, downloaded it on my phone, and played it again and again. Winston Surfshirt had announced their arrival, and in spectacular fashion.
Following on from Be About You, Winston Surfshirt continued to craft scintillating tunes through follow-up singles Ali D and Same Same. Both received heavy airplay and critical acclaim for their refined production layers and rnb/soul vibes. Winston Surfshirt was a name that was now known beyond Sydney’s underground scene, making its way across the country and praised by the legendary Elton John. It wasn’t long until the debut album was on its way; Winston Surfshirt had kept so many tracks over the years, it was time to set them free to the adoring public. Late 2017, Winston Surfshirt dropped Spongecake, a collection of songs that produced the same level of swagger and charm that their three singles possessed before it. Tracks like, Project Redo and When You’re Ready had greater depth and emotion, whereas tracks like TwennyFive and For Real kept the good vibes and contagious energy. After a massive sellout album tour, Winston Surfshirt began collaboration with the likes of Cosmo’s Midnight and side-project Poloshirt in 2018 to keep fans more than satisfied. With brand new music dropping at the end of last year and just weeks ago in For The Record and Make a Move, the collective is still churning out their loveable brand of hip-hop and funk. Blending gorgeous horn-sections and slap-bass, both singles get the feet shuffling and hips-swaying in a way only Winston Surfshirt can.
So lets say you’re at Splendour, and you find yourself being transcended by Winston Surfshirt’s slick vocals tearing up the stage, what else are you in for? Expect nothing but good vibes! Words from his last few live shows have been nothing but positive, with a strong live production, maximum crowd involvement and an all-round good time. Creating and mixing all the music with the 6-piece makes for a truly immersive experience, and a much more coherent and lively performance. This group is on the up, and you would be a sucker to miss such a cracking live set that does nothing but get the spirits elevated and body bopping.
Winston Surfshirt Set-Time Friday 19th of July, 7:00 – 8:00pm