After taking Australia by storm with ‘Is This How You Feel?’ (you know, the song no one can stop singing), it’s no wonder The Preatures played three totally sold out shows at the Northcote Social Club, wrapping up on Friday night.

The Sydney five-piece have come leaps and bounds in the past twelve months. Only months after seeing them support bands such as San Cisco and Hungry Kids Of Hungary, it’s evident that they’ve become performers in their own right; seeing them play was like being thrown back in time – hearing gloriously catchy indie-pop, but looking at a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll band.

Indie/psychedelic group Hollow Everdaze opened the night to a ‘crowd’ of about seven people, which was a shame. The Bacchus Marsh quartet looked a little put off by the lack of numbers, but persevered nonetheless.

They have an incredibly innovative and intriguing sound; one that would probably achieve its full potential in a larger setting – the tiny Northcote Stage just didn’t do them justice.

Frontman Daniel Baulch’s voice is youthful but solid, showing off the simple but insightful lyrics about, as Baulch desribed , a “rural mentality”. The humble and inventive young quartet opened the show excellently, complementing The Preatures well.

The second support act before The Preatures graced the stage was Chela, who is consistently a delight to watch. The sassy alt-pop-disco queen has the most infectious youthful energy about her, making her a perfect crowd-pleaser.

The audience, previously sitting around the edge of the room, slowly migrated to the floor during Chela’s set, which by the time it finished had evolved into a bit of a dance party.

Wearing her signature high-topped sneakers and shorts displaying hugely enviable legs, she grooved her way through a 40-minute losing no momentum or energy at all.

For someone who started making music simply so she could dance to it, Chela has certainly surpassed expectations, and was a picture-perfect way to get the growing crowd buzzing before the headliners.

Finally the curtains of the Northcote swept open to reveal The Preatures in all their monochrome glory

“Melbourne, you beautiful motherfuckers!” proclaimed feisty frontwoman Isabella Manfredi. The group opened with their latest single ‘Manic Baby’, a track that was received well by the audience, who immediately started dancing and grooving along. The next hour consisted of almost back-to-back songs, the band barely stopping to say a word between songs. Punters definitely got their money’s worth of music, that’s for sure.

The band’s marked improvement this year comes not only in their musical ability, but in their stage presence and ability to create an atmosphere and captivate the audience.

The rapport between Manfredi and her male counterpart Gideon Bensen, is still fantastic and really important. Their harmonies were spot on – it was incredibly difficult to fault any of the vocal work.

All eyes were on the frontwoman as she stripped off her t-shirt to reveal a white turtlenecked crop top – a move that seemed incredibly welcomed by the males in the audience.

‘Is This How You Feel?’, the song that rocketed The Preatures into the spotlight this year, was played as the last song before the encore. The band barely walked off the stage before returning about ten seconds later for another two songs. “Aren’t encores shit?” Manfredi joked as the band returned speedily.

The crowd, completely packed by this point, was enthusiastic the entire way through the set, letting the energy exuding from the band – and the eclectic dance moves – wash over them.

When the final track, ‘Pale Rider’, had finished, the group ran down to the merch desk sweaty and exuberant, and took the time to have in-depth chats with punters.

The Preatures are, as the Australian charts have confirmed, an excellent recorded band, but as they become more confident and add more live experience to their name, the Sydney band prove themselves to be up there with the most exciting Australian acts of 2013.

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