On Wednesday 20th of January, Nai Palm, lead singer to Hiatus Kaiyote and Melbournian musical royalty, performed an intimate solo performance at the Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne. Supported by fellow eccentric and house mate, Jaala.
The venue was an impressive balance of an intimate space along with a mezzanine that offered all the convenience of sitting outside. With an extendable roof left open for the warm night to be enjoyed. The Gasometer’s format is certainly onto a winner. The giant cured meat sign standing over us from the building next door, potentially embedding a desire for pepperoni pizza in us all.
Jaala, all frizzy orange hair and hand tremors excused herself after noticeable instrumental hiccups in her opener. Confiding in her fans that she was in fact particularly sick from a nasty fever and was simply waiting for the Sudafed to kick in. Her banter for the rest of the night was unexpected, off beat and yet somehow endearing. Much like her music. With anecdotes about spending twenty dollars on dolmades, being carried way from the gig by pigeons and just how sick everyone was at home.
The performance did suffer from multiple missteps on her electric guitar. Timing on both riffs and rhythms were noticeable. Considering how cognitive and musical dissonance is such integral element to her music. These errors failed to really retract from the performance. Her vocals sounded completely effortless in her impressive display of her trademark unpredictability. Jaala masterfully enveloped and entranced the crowed with a performance that was rather fitting. Raw, real and completely conflicted.
If Jaala is the chaotic, barely contained neurosis, Nail Palm is the more controlled and articulate sibling. Suffering from the same affliction as Jaala, Nai Palm was completely unhindered in her capacity to weave a performance that was engrossing, warm and heartfelt.
When Nai Palm took to the stage, it became clear just how dedicated her fans are. Receiving woops, cheers and whistles intermittently whenever she performed an impressive vocal act or executed a particularly interesting performance on her guitar. Feeling bad for the crowed, all squashed in together, she offered her stage to the punters. While they were uncertain at first, Nail Palm was soon completely surrounded by her followers. One young man going so far as to worship her on his knees. Through her banter we learnt of the inspiration for ‘Mobious Streak’ – Adventure Time – and met her friend, Hannah from which her song, ‘Nakamarra’, is dedicated to.
Two particular highlights of the performance was the crowd’s Acapella to her fantastic cover of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain No Body’ where the aforementioned Hannah incited a dance along on stage. Not only were the entire crowed participating but they sounded exceptional themselves. The end of the night also went off with a participatory bang as Nai Palm’s younger brothers joined her on stage. Providing an impressive harmony for her encore performance to an energized, singing and dancing crowed.
Nai Palm’s performance was impressive, extensive and captivating. Her ability to capture a room with just her voice and guitar is extraordinary. The talent it takes from both artists to sing such difficult acts while performing more than just rhythm guitar is impressive enough. To then add multiple layers of perception, honesty and just great music is almost unbelievable
Together they created a wonderful night leaving us all satisfied and eager for more.