Ferla’s album launch at The Tote was as intimate and soul-baring as the record itself

Ferla’s album launch at The Tote was as intimate and soul-baring as the record itself

Words by James Robertson

The band were able to capture all the poignancy of the release in a live setting.

There is a no more fitting way to describe Ferla’s performance at The Tote than by utilising the title of their recent debut album; ‘It’s Personal’. The band brimmed with an intimate ethos as they played to a packed out crowd at the Collingwood venue, demonstrating how the all-encompassing passion which exudes from their music makes for a heavily satisfying and varied gig.

It’s Personal was an album built on evocative moments of introspection and you can feel that each and every word sung is packed with meaning. Frontman Giuliano Ferla stepped onto the stage with fellow keyboardist Kate Monger to begin the show with a rendition of the stripped-back album opener ‘Don’t Want’, with Giuliano reaching with an outstretched arm to the audience crooning, “What’s there when you don’t want nothing at all?” The rest of the band then emerged from the shadows of sidestage and Ferla’s album launch was officially a go.

Ferla slinks into early single ‘In the Night’ with a mesmerically dream-like sensation, excelling at what the band do best. The ripping synthesised solo that served as the centrepiece of the track brought on a cacophony of cheers from the crowd. Flowers adorned the stage, either hooked neatly to the mic stands or placed in between the drum kit, creating a vibrant visual atmosphere to compliment the music.

“I’m going to tell you a story,” Giuliano Ferla says as he starts to orally paint the narrative of the epic ‘You Were There, Jim’, a song that brims with obscure details of a dream sequence involving “Scandinavian girls and $10 beers”. His soft guitar strokes and whispery vocals created a closely intimate atmosphere, drawing in the crowds’ attention.

It was then time for the riff-heavy stomper of ‘Flying Solo’ which had the audience supplying an elongated chant of the chorus, which gave Giuliano Ferla cause to stop and smile down at the punters in the pit below. The band’s ability to drop down from a raucous jam into almost eerie quiet at the flick of a switch, as seen in tracks like ‘Voodoo’, demonstrate their prowess as a unit of musicians who are perfectly in sync. 2019’s single ‘I’m Fine’ provided the most danceable bass line of the night from bassist Steve Gavan, getting the audience’s hips moving to the sound of their perfect break-up anthem.

Almost as if they just want to cut the bullshit, Ferla’s encore didn’t leave the audience waiting long. Drummer Chris Drane came back on stage to deliver the ‘shortest drum solo’ possibly ever, with Giuliano Ferla returning shortly to give another huge thanks to the crowd that night. They capped the night off with their 2016 single ‘I Can’t Let You Down’, bringing the whole crowd into an anthemic singalong that left everyone feeling satisfied.