GIG REVIEW: Eliza & The Delusionals + Supports, 05/06/2019, Vinnies Dive, Gold Coast

Words by Margy Joghin.

Photos by Hannan Paul – Shot By Hannan. Full gallery HERE.

It’s the beginning of July, a freezing windy raining winters night on the Gold Coast and Vinnies has sold out!  I didn’t think people went out in winter in Queensland, but Vinnies is filling up quickly.  Didn’t these people get the memo about getting up at 4 am tomorrow to run the Gold Coast Marathon?  Possibly, but those in the know have their priorities sorted and turned down the lycra and liniment to catch tonight’s brilliant line-up. I am looking forward to celebrating with a line-up of local bands all making their mark on the Queensland and National stage.   

It’s a gorgeous crowd of Gold Coast bright young things watching Pure Milk tonight.   Vinnies Dive Bar is of course a fairly new addition to Gold Coast’s music venues.  It’s a great sized room, small enough to create intimacy and feel like you are up close, but big enough to feel you are part of a crowd.  It’s the perfect venue for tonight’s gig.  And, doing my bit for GC Tourism, I encourage Brisbane readers to engage in some interstate musical tourism. Pure Milk are a Gold Coast 5 piece, lead by Lewis Nitshchinsk -  Vocals, Dylan Lindquist – Guitar/Vocals, Nathan Asquith – Bass, Joel Berechree – Guitar and Brayden O’Gorman – Drums. 

With the cerebral observations of wordsmith frontman Lewis, this five piece sound like a thinking man’s garage rock group.  Recent support slots suggest they have been making a bit of an impact on the local and national music scene. I have my fingers crossed for an art school aesthetic and am not disappointed with at least three black turtlenecks amongst the black & white themed guitars (possibly not deliberate but it sounds and looks good) They commence their set to some enthusiastic fans with new song Idolise, and follow-up with single M1 Southbound which received some radio play on the Jays.   It begins with a wonky but very catchy riff which bounds around the rhythm guitars while Lewis sings of an existential crisis while stuck on the M1 at Beenleigh; how could you not love this song!?  I decide on the spot, that when I have my next crisis of meaning and purpose, I too will have it on the M1 and definitely Southbound.  

Lewis engaged the audience, not just with his cluey and cryptic observations on self, suburb and society, but as a mean tambo player, when not playing the guitar.  The highlight of the set for me was new song I Know Thank You reflecting on mental health and the importance of being around for friends. I’d love to hear a field of festival punters singing to each other ‘You’re Fine, You’re Fine, You’re Fine.’ Other highlights include Sunny Young BoyPalm Beach and BalmainPure Milk have really got something, check them out. 

Hallie are launching their new single Nice Like Rice tonight.  A great reason for the band to celebrate, along with their recent achievement as supports for Verge Collection, and IVEY, and JPlay for their single Whats Good.  Hallie are an alternative pop/rock four piece, featuring Hallie Tait – rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Taine Josephson -  Lead Guitar, Ruby Lee – Bass and backing vocals and Robert Hills on drums.  They play a charming brand of indie folk, merging at times with  pop rock and jazz.  Hallie has a cute infectious energy. Tait’s sweet voice is very powerful and she looks at home on the stage. 

They set the scene with their track Banana & Honey, it sounds like the sweetest break-up tune, but laced with some stinging home truths.  Whats Good? is another highlight of Hallie’s set. With its accomplished jazz feel, this song has deservedly received some J-Plays.  It’s a great  demonstration of the musicality of the band, in particular Hallie’s vocal chops and Taine’s deftness on lead is off the charts at times.  I can’t see Robert because a very tall man has decided to stand in front of me but he holds the rhythm section together with Ruby Lee. Ruby Lee‘s bass lines are standout.

A quick cover of Oh What a Night and the band finished with their single Nice Like Rice. I love it and think it will do well for them!  Pointing out that friendships roll and change over time, Nice Like Rice is testament to the universal truth – friendship navigation has its challenges.  The band are enjoying playing their new single tonight and the enthusiastic crowd are very appreciative. There are even girls with bubble pipes.  Its fun, and Hallie did their job well. This crowd is definitely warmed up.

The room has filled up and the drinks are topped up.  People are moving up to the front for a better position for headliner Eliza and the Delusionals, who are launching their new single Just Exist tonight. There is a real buzz around this band. They are becoming known as the darlings of Australian indie rock with a sound likened to Catfish & The Bottlemen and Alex Lahey. Their strong work ethic, Triple J profile and well received 2017 Debut EP ‘The Deeper End’ has helped lever some excellent gigs including Bluesfest and Falls Festival. A recent signing to Cooking Vinyl Australia and you get the feeling the trajectory is about to get steeper and quicker. The band is made of Eliza Klatt – guitar and vocals, Kurt Skuse -Bass, Ashley Martin –  Guitar, Fraser Perrott – drums.  I really like their music so am looking forward to seeing them play live again. The room is full and the intensity has gone up a notch.

The band come on stage and immediately thank everyone for coming out. They announce this is the first ever ‘sold out’ show.  They are genuinely thrilled and excited, you get the feeling the band feel they are at a tipping point and tonight is a really special for them. They commence their set with the big fuzzy riff of Falling Out, a melodic coming of age tale highlighting the assumed personas people can draw on before they feel comfortable in their own skin. Good choice, the room is clearly full of happy fans who know the words and are singing along. They follow up with 19,  another crowd favourite which documents the dilemma of feeling stuck and that “your life is on hold” because you keep making the same mistakes.  It’s a nice real life contradiction to the theatre of indie rock, as it’s hook laden tracks like this one which have assisted Eliza and the Delusionals to break out from the indie band mass and capture the attention of taste makers and audiences alike. No mistakes here.  When the band performs Deep End from their 2017 EP we are drawn into the quiet space of just Eliza’s sweet and charismatic vocals and a single strum guitar.  The rest of the band join and we sing along to another indie rock stunner.  Eliza and the Delusionals are definitely in their ascendant with a seemingly endless supply of perfectly crafted indie pop/rock tunes.   The guy next to me is singing all the words of all the songs which is part of the appeal. Many of the songs including Cigarette, document the roller coaster of emotions of growing up.  The driving chorus of Cigarette feels like a song you would play as you drive away from your home town to your next life.

The band play their new single Just Exist twice tonight, once during the set and also in the encore. Singer Eliza Klatt explains Just Exist is about the necessary evil that feelings of depression can play in the artistic process, while inevitably igniting creative energies.  Like a metaphor for the creative process the song has a quiet and reflective beginning, exploding into a huge chorus and everyone in the room sings “If I could just exist without you”. This song is perfect pop, like most of the songs in this set, and will definitely provide traction for their career as it ratchets up to the next level. I have seen Eliza and the Delusionals before. They were always great musicians with excellent songs, but time has provided an opportunity to distil their on-stage chemistry.  They have developed a confident, relaxed and very fun show.  Eliza charms with her congeniality and great voice.  Ash and Kurt are dynamic performers and are big contributors and Fraser’s drumming brings it all together on drums. Tonight we witness a band just before they turn a big corner and it’s anyone’s guess where this is going to take them, but the sky is the limit. It was really a special night.  When they are playing Coachella and Glasto, I will be able to say I bought a guitar from Ash (true story! wish I had it autographed but oh well) If the crowd weren’t Delusionals fans before they played, they are are now. By the way, where was the merch? I wanted to certify my Delusional status!

Eliza and the Delusionals will be playing the City of Gold Coast 60th Birthday Party alongside The Lamplights, The Hanlon Brothers and Amy Shark next weekend on Saturday 13 July at Broadwater Parklands, kicking off from 3pm and going to 7pm. Event page HERE. With all this home grown talent, it’s safe to say the city is in pretty good shape! 

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