St Vincent, Howler, Melbourne_22nd May 2014


This is the first of three sold out shows for the ever-evolving St Vincent (Annie Erin Clark) in the newly appointed venue to the Melbourne live scene, Howler.  Tucked away neatly behind a car-park in the back streets of Brunswick, Melbourne, this is a great little venue that beckons such intimacy and closeness to its performers, perfect for many of us who are witnessing St Vincent.

But we are not here to talk venues of course so lets turn the focus to the wonderfully eccentric talents of Annie, aka St  Vincent.  After random discussions between friends on whether the venue is built on a slight slant and whether or not I believe that St Vincent is a hipsters answer to an indie Lady Gaga, the intriguing Annie takes to the stage adorned in a crazy handcrafted garment that was probably made by a friend of hers from Art School.  We would of course expect nothing less from Ms Clark who knows how to entertain and bring a smile and blush to those who watch her perform.

Without further ado, in rolls one of her newer singles from commercially accepting and rather brilliant new album, Rattlesnake with some sure ferocity and instantly the audience is glued to the performance that plays out before them.  St Vincent is a true performer and beyond her naturally but perfectly odd presence she is both intriguing and mesmerizing, the kind of artist that you need not have heard before to appreciate that she is beyond a musician, more an artist.

Her quirky and contemporary minimalist dance moves of theatrical hand gestures and shuffling feet that resemble android dance moves cannot help but bring a smile to your face.  Many of the tracks tonight come from her acclaimed self-titled album, and live they sound tight and equally powerful, the audience is both excited and humoured.

Speaking of the audience,  it was quite a surprise to see the majority of the fans standing to attention before her were men in the 30s, each of them probably fantasizing that Annie was performing just for them, it was a rare but sweet moment to witness.

Having only really understood and appreciated St Vincent with her recent album there is no denying why she is so loved and admired but many in the industry and fans a like of the alternative partial, she brings a refreshing and artistically element to an otherwise safe alternative music industry.

Her performance goes for a money worthy 80 minutes or so and covers songs from her entire career but much of it focusing on the latest album, an album that translates really nicely live.  Her band are close behind her, especially fellow guitarist and keyboard, with her Japanese background, compliments St Vincent’s quirkiness perfectly.  The two exchange odd choreography from guitar swaying and shoe shuffling like androids travelling on conveyor belt  style.  I guess you really just had to be there.

As many brows beaded sweat with the temperature rising in this otherwise perfect venue for tonights performance, St Vincent cracked through a cracking set that was full of character, charisma and oddity diva’ness that left many mens hearts aching and many young hipsters completely inspired.

A great performer and a great show, just a shame we cant be over in Sydney to see her perform at Vivid Festival, Sydney Opera House.