Middle Kids, MANE @ The Gov, Adelaide 16/4/2019

What a fantastic 32 degree autumn day and a wonderful night to go to a concert.

First up at the Gov tonight was local act MANE (AKA Paige Renee Court) who has been performing for a few years. When I first saw her at The Grace Emily in 2014 she was a fine folk-pop singer. In her MANE incarnation, she now has a darker tone with beautiful deep vocals and angst-ridden lyrics. With only her guitarist and drummer Mane creates a fantastic wall of pop sound. I Won’t Let it Bury Me from the unreleased Fault and I Was Your Future and Now I’m Your Past on Tinder’s Flame were some of the passionate and fierce lyrics we were treated to. Maybe because I have heard them more but the highlights for me were Save Yourself and What if the Love Dies which both sounded glorious

The last song in her set was Chasing Butterflies has over a million listens on Spotify which is an incredible feat. I find that MANE’s sound is evolving in a very short time. Her newer stuff sounds very much more mature than her House of Horrors EP. I can’t wait for MANE to release an album but until then we can look forward to seeing her around the traps in Adelaide and if you are lucky enough to be in New Zealand you can see her support Matt Corby for three dates next week.

Next up was Sydney’s Middle Kids who were just in Adelaide for this year’s Laneway Festival and in my opinion, had the largest crowd for the LNWY.co stage.  Their stage was filled with flowers and white Hawaiian leis and Hannah’s one piece Bowie like jumpsuit was so cool.

It sounded so good and fully formed during their first song Never Start that it was like you were watching a live Bluray of your favourite band and had skipped to the encore. Their Lost Friends album is a pop masterpiece and the majority of the set was from this great release. Hannah’s voice was melodic and had a warm controlled resonance that you get lost in. The Gov is one of my favourite venues and the sound tonight was flawless as it usually is.  

Middle Kids are a great pop band and their success is well deserved. The individual members have all been in various different bands since 2010 and everything came together for them when they formed and uploaded Edge of Town to Triple J Unearthed. For me, it is one of the many reasons to see them live. That song is so catchy and the repeated refrain “Hey, guy, have you got something on your mind?. Tick, tock, can I take it for a while” just builds into an incredible crescendo. I feel I was so lucky to see them at Lollapalooza in 2017. The Americans love them and they have been making inroads all over the world.

Tonight, most of the audience is singing every word. The only one where the audience could not sing was the only unreleased song Beliefs & Prayers from their soon to be released EP New Songs For Old Problems. Because they are putting out a new EP only hopefully the set will not change too much so we can all continue to hear most of the songs from the 2018 Lost Friends album and first 2017 EP. The version of  Fire in Your Eyes played tonight is slower and sparser than the recorded version and it is so much more powerful for it. Great song followed one after the other and the set ended with Bought It the first track of the Lost Friends album. The band came back out for Mistake which has the catchiest chorus of all their songs with the lyrics “ You’re standing out in the rain tonight / Like you’ve got something to say to God” sung absolutely perfectly by Hannah. Such an uplifting end to the night. I can’t wait to see them again. 

Live Review By Richard De Pizzol

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