Didirri (yes, that’s his real name) emerged in 2017 with two singles, Blind You and Jude. On the back of those, he went on to sell out two headline tours and support the likes of Tash Sultana, The Jezabels and The Temper Trap that year.
In 2018 he released a few more tracks to form his first EP, Measurements; a folk-rock fusion with soulful lyrics that both caress and carve a heart in half. Usually there’s only so many times you can listen to a 22-minute EP, but that’s not the case with Didirri. His songs either melt into your mind or tug at a new nerve, depending on what you need them for. Often described as ‘simultaneously heartbreaking and healing,’ Didirri is a storyteller; an artist that’s made for intimate live performances.
And his set last Saturday on Lion Arts Factory’s smaller stage was exactly that. Alongside Stellie, Didirri and his touring partner Ro brought their last Tea Stains show to a longing Adelaide crowd.
Tea Stains was written by the two Melbourne artists some eighteen months ago – just days after his Blind You release – with nothing more than ‘a pedestal fan, a beat-up bass, and some empty cups of tea.’ It’s a feel-good play on the classic ‘best-friends accidentally falling for each other story,’ while also hinting at anticipation and uncovered truths.
In one of Didirri’s many between-song reflections, he said ‘There’s a lot of different ways to describe pain … but not a lot of ways to describe happiness.’ But when Ro joined Didirri on stage to sing their collab, it hit every note, every one of those complex emotions in that all too familiar story. I think they can describe happiness, and all the rest of it, better than most.
Ro later wrote on Instagram something about the gig’s atmosphere:
‘When I got onstage I felt electric … The guitar jangled and the microphone soaked up every breath. It was like standing on the table at someone’s private party. Throughout the set, I felt a surge of gratitude towards the crowd. I also felt a surge of ‘you’re welcome’, lacing every lyric I sang at them. It was a constant give and take, and so much fun.’
And it really did feel like Ro and Didirri were within arm’s reach, even though I was nowhere near the front of the crowd. Maybe it was the way their voices carried throughout Lion Arts’ small but cavernous bar-side stage. Maybe it was the way everyone silently swayed to the music, captivated, mouthing the lyrics a little but feeling them a lot. Maybe it was the soft sound of rain on the roof at the end of each song.
Of course, Didirri ended the night with I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head. Now a week later, I can’t get that song, or that night, out of my head.
Words by Annabel Bowles
Photography by Saige Prime