Jack Colwell Performs Hole’s ‘Malibu’ Live from Happy

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Jack Colwell has been on Sydney’s indie scene for almost a decade. In that time, he’s taken several fascinating musical detours, including arrangements for artists like Architecture in Helsinki, collaborations with Karen O, and most recently, a critically acclaimed album, Swandream.

For his Live from Happy session, Colwell was paying tribute to another singer-songwriter and inspirational figure, Courtney Love. When she was the frontwoman for Hole, Malibu was one of the band’s biggest hits.

The original version of Malibu has a chorus that you’ll never forget and is full of the alt-rock swagger of the ’90s. Jack Colwell transferred that magic to strings; these ‘classical’ instruments have never rocked so hard.

Malibu was Mixed and Recorded by Radi Safi, Dan Shaw and Owen Penglis 

Jack Colwell

Usually, Jack Colwell can be found behind the piano, but this time he picked up the acoustic guitar. Creating a percussive rhythm, it was the engine that drove the string trio and was the perfect complement to his celebratory vocal performance. 

“I’ve always really loved the band Hole,” Colwell explained before hitting the stage. “And I’ve always loved the mythology around Courtney Love and the band in particular. Malibu is such a striking song.”

Check out the performance below:

Live from Happy is made possible with the help of our tech partner Sennheiser. Here’s a list of the microphones, in-ear monitors and headphones that were used to capture this incredible performance:

Live from Happy Gear List

Usually a microphone you’d find on movie sets or outdoors, the MKH 8060 was perfect for capturing the lead vocal from a distance while maintaining maximum clarity.

MKH 8060

SENNHEISER MKH 8060 


A detailed and versatile small-diaphragm condenser, the Sennheiser MKH 40-P48 is ideal for reproducing the vitality of acoustic string instruments. In this case, two were used to capture the violin and viola. 

Sennheiser MKH 40-P48

SENNHEISER MKH 40-P48 


In the same family of microphones as the MKH 40-P48, the MKH 50-P48 has the same richness, while rejecting off-axis sound with precision. Perfect for capturing the tone of the cello.

MKH50 P48

SENNHEISER MKH 50-P48 


The tiny, yet powerful Sennheiser MKH 8050 was used to capture the detail of the nylon string guitar. The percussive drive of this instrument was key to the arrangement and the MKH 8050 ensured it was always present.

mkh 8050

SENNHEISER MKH 8050


The quiet achiever of the session, the IE 100 PRO was used for Jack Colwell’s monitoring. A discreet, yet comprehensive foldback solution for vocalists.

Sennheiser IE 100 pro

SENNHEISER IE 100 PRO


A session is only as good as its monitoring, but the HD 300 PRO made it easy. With an exceptionally flat frequency response and superb isolation, the Live from Happy engineers could be completely confident in their recording and mixing decisions.

Sennheiser HD 300 PRO

SENNHEISER HD 300 PRO