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Live Review: Camp Cope, Chastity Belt

15 March 2018 | 2:31 pm | Emily Dunn

"Overall, the show exceeded expectations and the trio demonstrated again why they are up there with the best in 2018."

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Tasmanians often get the raw end of the deal with most things, but this is definitely not the case with Camp Cope's headline tour, which kicked off at the Republic Bar in Hobart.

Camp Cope's last trip to Tassie was caught up in controversy when the group called out Falls Festival during their set for only scheduling nine female artists on the festival bill. Since then (and arguably prior) the group has been a leading social commentator for gender inequality within the music industry and society in general.

This theme reverberates throughout their music, especially in their satirical, yet shamelessly relatable single The Opener, which gained fans of all palates in late-2017. This song set the scene (and the hype) for their second album, How To Socialise & Make Friends.

US four-piece Chastity Belt entertained the eager crowd with downtempo beats, paired with catchy guitar riffs and high-pitched vocals. During their third song, the band showcased their musical fluidity, with drummer Gretchen Grimm stepping up to the mic and strapping on vocalist Julia Shapiro's guitar while Shapiro took to the drums. The band gave a tight performance, playing some of their well-known songs, such as the title track from their second album, 2015's Time To Go Home, as well as some new material from their latest album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone.

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Camp Cope opened their set with album title track, How To Socialise & Make Friends. From the opening riff it became very evident that the patrons were devoted Camp Cope fans, with everyone screaming the song's prominent lyrics ("On my bike with no handlebars") back to vocalist Georgia Maq. Unbeknownst to the adoring audience, Maq revealed after the first song that she was suffering from a nasty bout of tonsillitis and had to get a penicillin injection in her butt earlier that day. Despite this, her performance didn't waver, with her vocals proving to be as captivating and powerful as ever.

Their hour-long set contained a healthy mix of old favourites and new tracks, with all three musicians working together to deliver a refined performance. They finished the night off with The Opener, which had the whole room passionately singing in unison. This response from the audience demonstrated that people are not only listening, but are moved by the stories of adversity Camp Cope share in their songs. Overall, the show exceeded expectations and the trio demonstrated again why they are up there with the best in 2018.