On the Wednesday night I stayed in the Valley after work as Kirin J Callinan was playing a random Brisbane show at Brightside. After having some food (burrito), I headed to the venue at around 8:30pm only to find that the headliner was playing a 10:40 to 11:30pm set. On a Wednesday. So I just went home.
The following evening I’m back in the Valley to see E^ST at Black Bear Lodge. As someone who tries to listen to everything in my inbox, usually between 30 and 50 emails a day (although to be honest I pass on all the death metal I get), I really liked the E^ST promo for ‘The Alley’ I got sent by the PR person. Apart from all that death metal, so much of the rest of what I get sent falls into two camps; male singers who want to be Bon Iver and female singers who want to be the new Lorde. With respect to the former of those two categories, someone should develop an app that interrogates the contents of my inbox and automatically deletes anyone sounding like Bon Iver. Most of the second category is just very boring, just all the same sounds, the same drum loops, the song structures and vocals so indistinguishable from each other that sometimes you’d swear it’s the same person and the same song as the last promo single you heard, despite the subject of the email telling you it’s a different song by a different act. But E^ST, much like Lorde, works and stands above all the competition because of the voice.
Being a new act, it’s one of those shows when you wonder in advance if there’s going to be much of a crowd. Of course then she does triple j’s Like A Version the Friday before show and the venue is packed with everyone wanting to hear her do her Bitter Sweet Symphony/Teardrop mash-up. It’s a good, if short, show, one that really marks her out as an act to watch. Even better is that the show is all over by the time Kirin J Callinan was due to start the night before.