A Live Experience with Waxahatchee, Infinite Void and Camp Cope At Howler, Melbourne, 18th February 2016

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shauna v2It’s pretty rare that you are blessed with such an exciting lineup on a humble Thursday night, and with it also being held at one of Melbourne’s most up and coming medium capacity venues. For three bands who each possess their own established sounds and loyal fan-bases, there was a definite anticipation in the room.

First up was Camp Cope, fronted by singer-songwriter-guitarist Georgia Maq with mates Kelly and Thomo to round out the lineup. Part of the popular Poison City Records crew, their songs slide easily onto this roster, whilst remaining independent of their own sound. Their blend of lyric-heavy pop songs with a tougher, punk-rock heart give a perfect platform for Georgia’s impressive vocal ability.

The following, main support slot belonged to Infinite Void, who proceeded to destroy a few minds and win over the entire room at the same time. Being the heaviest band on the night’s bill, they did their best to get the most out of the room, pushing it to give them the fullest potential from their performance. The layered, reverb-y but still angular guitar work, punishing rhythm section and dual female vocals had drawn the crowd to the front (with a little early encouragement), with the reward of a set of exciting, powerful, post-punk inspired songs that mean business. Certainly a band to watch out for if you haven’t already.

Alabama native Katie Crutchfield, who plays with her band under the name Waxahatchee (named after a lake close to her parents’ house), played their first ever Melbourne show as part of a quick two-date Australian tour in promotion of her latest album Ivy Tripp. With her twin sister Allison also on guitar and vocal duties, Melbourne was lucky enough to hear live versions of songs from the new album, as well as favourites from both 2013’s Cerulean Salt and lo-fi debut American Weekend. The four piece did a fantastic job of bringing these songs to life, some of the crowd singing along, most in a fuzzy, awe-inspired stupor. Rapturous applause between each song showed the band that their very long plane flight was certainly worth it, fulfilling their “weird fantasies” and playing to a packed crowd on the other side of the world. And the crowds’ attentiveness was certainly rewarded – as well as punchy pop songs like Under a Rock and Air, there were sweeter moments too, such as the solitary keys on Stale By Noon made a place for Katie and Allison’s simple, touching harmonies to shine above. There’s not many greater advantages in having a genetically matched voice to reinforce the precision of those harmonies.

To top off the evening, an unexpected encore (this is Melbourne you know) brought a special treat in Katie returning alone with her guitar to play a few songs in their most charming, intimate form. Closing with Summer of Love, there was undoubtedly a sea of enormous smiles beaming back at her. The real icing on the cake for a pretty special evening – reinforcing the quality and diversity of lineups that we see in Melbourne and how lucky we are to have them.

Thanks to DeathProof PR for media access.