Hype, it’s a funny thing. It takes the tiniest, fresh idea that somehow, completely connects with people to attract it, but, it takes a lot more to keep it. On the back of latest single, the gorgeous Touch, and subsequent 6 date national tour, Melbourne girl, Alice Ivy, has it in spades. The Wandering Lamb were invited by Vice Royalty PR to Melbourne’s much loved The Workers Club to see how deserved all this hype, actually was. With a packed room brimming with audacious photographers and eager punters, it seems that I wasn’t the only one.
Unfortunately missing openers, Wise Child, I wandered in just in time for main support, Hobart’s own, Lazer Baby. A Nu Jazz/Neo Soul act that surprised the hell out of me. Think Hiatus Kaiyote without the keys. One of those bands that make you feel completely inferior as a musician. With a setup consisting of drums, bass, guitarist/vocalist and a designated back up singer, they played through half an hours worth of jazz grooves provided by one of the tightest rhythm sections that I’ve seen in forever. Their take of Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” was an absolute highlight. Complete with the perfect drop and lead vocalist swap. My only problem is that it was far too short. An act that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on and you should too.
Once Lazer Baby had finished with a sense that us musicians need to go home and practice, it was time for Alice Ivy. A complete anomaly of an artist, in the best possible way. The very dark stage we heard provide a real challenge for the photographers, including our Georgia Grace, either what the fact that Ivy wore the same multi-colored overalls that you see in her current press shots was a brilliant start. That kind of artist that makes cool as shit music but looks like the girl next door. Zero pretentiousness, just an amazingly sweet, humble and above all, happy artist.
You could feel the excitement in the air. As soon as her fingers launched the first clip from her APC 40, we we’re in for something special. Old world samples, hip hop breaks and live guitar, courtesy of manager, Luy Amiel, a guitarist with some of the best rock god facial expressions I’d seen in years. File her music right next to The Avalanches or J Dilla and you’ll get to understand what I mean.
Alice herself was a ball of energy and was completely infectious. Continually moving, dancing and jumping on the spot. She clearly had the time of her life and it was so great to see an artist not take themselves too seriously as she grinned from ear to ear.
It was a surprise to hear current single and set highlight, Touch, played second but it turned out to be a smart move to flaw everyone earlier on in the piece. From there, Alice, “took it down a notch” via slow burner, Paint It Blue, and a cover of The Eurythmics classic, Sweetdreams, before building it back up while proclaiming that “the party will go on!”
On it did, through other set highlights Walk On and Charlie. Ending the night by inviting Melbourne soul singer and sometimes collaborator, Chloe Beckwith on stage to play a dance-floor inducing version of “Mean Man’s Bite”. Inciting a heaving crowd with their hands in the air and bodies pulsing. A fitting end to a near flawless set.
My only criticism was of the oblivious photographer who thought it was a good idea to film the entire last song from the prime position of stage center. If your going to get that close and shadow Ms. Ivy to get that illusive perfect shot, at least pick up an instrument.
With a world-class live show accompanying her world-class tunes, my guess is that that hype is here to stay. At least for a little while yet.
Photography by Georgia Grace