May 10, 2008

Plastic Palace Alice @ Hopetoun Hotel

Plastic Palace Alice are a work in progress. I mean, that is probably expected. They have just released their debut album "The Great Depression" and Friday night at the always cozy Hopetoun Hotel served as its launch. The album was and is a bit like their show, good in parts, slow in others. But generally promising and boding well for their future. I had seen this young Melbourne six piece as support for Stars back in February. Now, they were excellent that night, the tiny Spectrum venue seemingly fueling their energy. Friday night saw them headline, and as they have been on a long national tour promoting the album they seemed to lack that same amount of energy. They seemed a bit tired. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable show. Their sound is bold and melodic, featuring crisp guitars and strident drumming. Keyboards add a nice touch and the interchanging vocals of Rob and Lise McDowell add variety to their shows. Naturally the show was made up of a lot of material from the album. Highlights were the well known "Empire Falls", the atmospheric "Kareoking/Antiphon" and the stirring "The Girl Who Cried Wolf". Surprisingly they played a couple of new songs including one I liked in particular. "Zeitgeist Blues". They also played a cover. Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love", which went down well. So, a good and enjoyable show. Though one that lacked energy and had some slow moments. Also, the venue wasn't sold out and seemed to contain quite a few patrons who had drunken far too much for their good. Not that anyone was particularly obknoxious, but there seemed to be a number of people that weren't really paying attention to the show.

Set List
The Molly Club
Empire Falls
Zeitgeist Blues
Harvest Song
Red Comedian
The Girl Who Cried Wolf
Somebody To Love
No Shame

I missed The Dawn Collective as a support, but I did catch Bird Automatic. They were quite good. This young Sydney five piece have a good, clean sound. Tight and possessing a good rhythm section, their songs were melodic and full of drive. Although lacking any absolute killer songs, they showed enough promise to suggest they have some inside of them.


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