Words by Eden Campbell
There’s nothing like a mid-week gig to sharpen the senses and reinvigorate the soul in preparation for the weekend. Think of it as self-care. Stepping into the refreshingly frigid air of The Tivoli, punters were able to shake off the humdrum of the week that has been, and escape the balmy Brisbane night air for a couple of hours. Tonight, The Tivoli was serving up a feast of two of the most relevant acts in the Australian indie/rock scene, The shining and anthemic Middle Kids, and the ensnaring Didirri.
The ever ethereal Didirri was a fantastic way to start the night. With an aura that exuded a sort of gentle charisma, his presence washed over the audience in heavenly plumes of serenity. His song writing prowess and en pointe vocals commanded the room in a heartbeat, as Didirri began to pluck away at his acoustic driven set. Didirri’s live performance is a bit more frivolous and energetic than his recordings, but he never deviates away from that initial calm, compassionate charm that seamlessly weaves its way into all of his poetry and stage presence.
Didirri’s tour band only enriched the experience, providing refreshing dynamic progression through the addition of layered harmonies, and extra riffs and chords.
With the majority of his set coming from his 2018 EP, ‘Measurements,’ a personal highlight of tonight’s performance was the raw and stripped back Blind You – a melancholic tale of letting a loved one go, for the sake of their own betterment. Of course, the anthemic and resounding Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head – one of Didirri’s biggest hits – was an unforgettable crowd favourite that had the collective goose bumps spreading like wildfire.
Didirri’s quick uptake into the Australian music scene and steadily expanding fan base speaks for itself in terms of where this young singer-songwriter is headed. Big things on the horizon for this smooth-talking purveyor of indie folk rock.
The audience was beaming from Didirri’s set, and Middle Kids only kept raising the energy up and up. These guys seem to live for the hustle. After the wildly successful release of ‘Lost Friends’ back in 2018; the trio released a six-track EP, ‘New Songs For Old Problems’ earlier in 2019; they are almost at the end of their national tour, and not to mention, lead singer, Hannah Joy is quite pregnant: Middle kids are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Come rain, hail, shine, or baby.
Wasting no time, they burst into the effervescent Mistake. The audience went into overdrive, and I became increasingly aware of the small packs of teenage girls all singing along to every word in a sort of ritualistic, trance-like state. It was something to behold, and their uninhibited joy would warm even the coldest of hearts.
Mistake was the first taste of what turned into over an hour of a non-stop, radiant sonic barrage. Their DIY and ramshackle aesthetic matched their quirky and wholesome interactions with the audience. But, Middle Kids ability to translate their highly polished recordings into their live performance is second to none. Middle Kids did not miss a beat, note, or chord throughout their entire set, and arguably transcended the quality of their recordings.
The band has a keen sense of what their audience wants. Working their way through fan favourites like On My Knees and Don’t Be Hiding packing punches left, right and centre. As we neared the pointy end of tonight’s set, Hannah took to the crowd and announced “We love music! So, lift up your voices!” The stage was illuminated by stark white smoke against a pitch-black background, and a solitary golden light lit up Hannah as Bought It wrung out through the auditorium.
The band quickly departed, and violet lights drenched the stage as the audience waxed and waned out the chant – “One more song! One more song!” Middle Kids reappeared into our line of sight, and blasted out Beliefs and Prayers from their latest EP, before setting The Tivoli alight with their smash hit Edge Of Town as their final bow-out.
Upon leaving the Tiv, I overheard an elated punter tell his friend, “I knew Middle Kids were good, but I didn’t know they were THAT fucking good!”
A truer statement has not been uttered. Middle Kids and Didirri alike, well and truly put a wicked spin on a dreary Thursday night. What an amazing way to ring in the end of the week. Catch Middle Kids on the last leg of their ‘New Songs For Old Problems’ tour in Adelaide.
Thursday, November 28th – HQ Complex, Adelaide – DETAILS HERE