Friday night at The Imperial hotel in Newtown was the mix of carefree Australians in the form of The Pretty Littles and the ambitious performance of The Delta Riggs. Both bands had something different to offer and despite the absence of anything out of the ordinary, the loyal crowd were more than pleased with an energizing and sometimes comedic display of showmanship by both vocalists from the two acts.
The Pretty Littles, led by their Alex Williamson doppelganger, did not bother to take itself too seriously nor did the lyrics which regularly touched on the spiritual Australian tradition of getting too drunk to function. Whilst the former was inspired, it was the consistency between songs that was found wanting as several sound checks and fumbling stalled a performance which had the potential to gain a few more smiles in the crowd. Nevertheless, the casualness of the act played into the hands of the drinkers among the field, who took advantage of the nearby bar as a place of refuge. An example of the infectious off-the-cuff mentality that vocalist Terrence radiated was evident in the track ‘It was a helluva Tewsdy’ (Its pronounced Tuesday mate) that was proceeded by the hilarious storytelling of a music festival gone haywire. Whilst the musical Richter scale didn’t quite quake the crowd, we were still left rumbling and ready after a positive and comical performance from the motley Pretty Littles.
The Delta Riggs are a band on the rise. Yes, the phrase ‘On the Rise’ is probably used too liberally these days in regards to Indie bands, however, with a following that would fill a rabid Donald Trump rally hall. The boys in black have been making the most of their success with an east coast tour bender that includes a promotion of their new single ‘Surgery of Love’. The Imperial must have got the memo as a pair of gargantuan disco balls ricocheted light into the crowd which added to the party atmosphere.
When the rock band got their turn on stage, it was an excuse to let loose; and what a band to let loose to. The vocalist Elliot Hammond spent the set bounding around the stage which was both a feature of the performance and sometimes a little overbearing. An example was the introduction of maracas which bordered on pointless as they were inaudible. However, it was all the same to most of the audience, who thrived off the energy that Hammond exuded. The sound was a cross between Kasabian and Sticky Fingers and was most enjoyable when it was slowed down in comparison to most of the tracks which focused on volume over variety. Unfortunately when the tempo took a backseat so too did the energy. More practice in this style would pay enormous dividends with a band that has already come so far. Yet these were only minor hiccups as the vast majority of the crowd fully engrossed themselves in the music and its festivity.
It was a concert masquerading as a party, the Pretty Littles were the personified pre drinks without inhibition and the Delta Riggs made sure the party goes on. Overall, these were two bands that contrasted in motivations but both had vast quantities in style and showmanship even if the approaches were also distinctly different.