Sunday evening isn’t generally the biggest night for gig-goers. However, now and again, there is a band interesting enough to sacrifice a lazy Sunday night in for.
On the 9th of September, Alpine was that band. Their debut album, A Is For Alpine, has been received tremendously well, and their weekender show was the triumphant capping to a mostly sold-out tour.
Georgi Kay was the first to take the stage, and after a brief introduction, launched into her set which was more or less what you’d expect from a woman with an acoustic guitar. There were some nice surprises, notably her rendition of ‘Lionheart’, and she used the natural sounds of the guitar to her advantage.
However, it was only as Clubfeet worked through their set that the Corner Hotel began to fill up. Clubfeet are Melbournians (like Alpine) and their music was much more interesting than it sounded at first.
They used and layered different electronic sounds to create something beautiful. Two guys hunched over synths is more exciting than it sounds when they’re producing peculiar and captivating electronic harmonies. Some of their songs sounded strangely like 90s dance pop, but instead of being cheesy, it was fun – and the crowd got into it.
The only questionable part of their set was the song ‘Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do it)’, which consisted mostly of the lyrics: “Teenage suicide – don’t do it!” It was just as poppy and danceable as their other songs, but it was hard to decide whether it was tacky or not.
By the time they finished, the venue was filled with a huge range of people. Among them were quite a few older couples, huge groups of girls, the occasional gaggle of boys, and a trio of middle-aged Asian ladies.
Finally, Alpine. They kicked off with the opening couplet from A Is For Alpine, ‘Lovers 1’ and ‘Lovers 2’. The two lead vocalists, Phoebe Baker and Lou James boasted glitter makeup around their eyes and danced around the stage in a strange set of movements later dubbed ‘Alpine Zumba’. The rest of the band played it a bit cooler, seeming amused at the singers’ antics.
Still, anyone watching can tell that the six are close friends, in the banter and the music. At one point, a synth James was playing goes rogue. It’s quickly fixed up by the keyboardist, and they had a laugh about the small slip-up.
They played through most of their repertoire, with hit single ‘Gasoline’ receiving particularly rapturous cheering
Let’s be honest, when a band has a single cowbell especially mic’ed up, you know it’s going to be a good show. The friends put on a brilliant performance for an adoring crowd, including gracing the audience with an encore of ‘Icypoles’ – the perfect finish to their national headlining tour. Sunday night has never felt so alive.
– Sharona Lin