Words by Tracey Moyle.
Thursday night at The Tivoli in Brisbane saw Angus Stone’s solo side project Dope Lemon sell out to a chilled crowd keen for a night of laid back coastal folk rock.
Stone’s, Dope Lemon has built a large following and has charmed live audiences around the country since its conception in 2016. Unlike the wholesomely melodious sweet pop he performed with his sister Julia, we see more of a laid back almost lax, indie-folk chill capturing a Bob Dylan-esque aloofness. The second studio album ‘Smooth Big Cat’ was released July 12 and with sold out shows around Australia making it blatantly obvious how adored this guy is.
Tonight’s support is Golf Alpha Bravo the new moniker for Jagwar Ma singer guitarist Gab Winterfield.
Winterfield produces a collage of sounds from mid range tempo to up beat surfer rock tones. Starting off the set with almost hypnotic beats carrying a penetrating bass overlay, the sound is beautifully melancholic. Leading into the slightly more upbeat Unwind with its steady sweet beat, Winterfield’s vocals have a raw, melodic resonance and along with a great stage presence he captures the crowd. He has great control of his music with funky guitar vibes coming through in some songs whilst effortlessly rolling straight into some great groove rock beats. The music continually ebbed flowed between chilled coastal indie rock vibes to a heavier guitar driven push with a side step into a funky 60’s pop sounds with Groove Baby Groove and the final number finishing up with a frenzy of 90’s surfer rock grunge guitars. It was almost like the whole set was built around the crescendo of the final frantic offering.
Golf Alpha Bravo have great versatility in their music while still managing to stay true to a coastal surf sound, taking you through a montage of songs for any time of the day.
The capacity crowd were eager to see the main act and had found their positions early on. Although a heavy 20 something fan base Stone’s timeless folk sound has reached the all ages group with a great mix of music lovers ready for the show.
Finally Dope Lemon hit the stage to the roar of the fans and open with the super chilled Stonecutters from 2016’s ‘Honey Bones’ album. The crowd immediately fell into a contented trance soaking in the laid back vibe. Stone then taking us into the story telling aspect of his music with the steady beat and hypnotic rhythm of How Many Times having an almost drug like effect with the crowd getting high on the music. They pulled out crowd favourites Marinade capturing a Bob Dylan-esque feel and Hey You from latest release album ‘Smooth Big Cat’ keeping the spectacular going with giant go-go dancing felines taking the stage.
A massive positive buzz filled the venue. Charging up the energy fully with Coyote, the place fell into rock mode and with harmonica added into the mix it took things to a new level. The song ending in a jam session with band and harmonics coming together in a perfect barrage of music. Returning to a cruisy laid back coastal indie rock energy with Lonely Boys Paradise, the chilled sounds reverberated across the crowd and set everyone grooving along in a state of satiated bliss.
The obviously popular Fuck Things Up kept the tone mellow sung with a feeling of resignation and acceptance that sometimes you just ‘fuck things up’ as a matter of fact and there ‘ain’t nothing you can do about it.’ The undertone of a hazy drugged out state, with everyone high on the music, continued with Honey Bones taking us on a guitar led frenzied trip shifting between peaks and lows, strapping us in for a psychedelic roller coaster ride which continued on through to the chilled out Salt and Pepper.
A big ‘house party energy’ fell over the room with Home Soon – their very ‘Smooth Big Cats’ joining them for a big finish. The giant burlesque kitty dancing around stage kept the party feels high. No one wanted it to end but ‘all good things…..’ as they say.
Back with and encore of Uptown Folks had the night ending on a high note. To say Dope Lemon hit that magical music spot for the fans would be and understatement.
Their well-balanced musical pallet consisting of Folk, Indie, Pop and laidback coastal Rock integrates perfectly to splash a hue of calming energy across your soul.
Walking out of the venue last night we left behind at least a hundred people dancing along to the continued music streaming out of the venues speakers. A giant party atmosphere had fallen over The Tivoli with a loved-up vibe. Undeniable proof that music is food for the soul.
Dope Lemon continue their Australian Tour with three more shows on home soil before taking the good feels overseas. Check below for details.
9 August – Palais Theatre Melbourne
15 August – HQ Complex Adelaide
17 August – Metropolis Perth