Live Review: Camp Cope

22 February 2017 | 10:20 am | Catherine Delpero

"An experience that will just melt the bitterest of hearts."

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A Thursday night at The Brisbane Hotel in Hobart conjures up images (for those who know it well) of sticky floors and beer-soaked couches with a pungent odour of who the hell knows what.

The trade-off, if you can put up with all that, is a pub where you might just catch a glimpse of some of this country's most prolific up-and-coming bands. And, if you are lucky, you might have an experience that will just melt the most bitter of hearts. That is Camp Cope.

The Melbourne trio were pleased as punch with their Hobart audience, noting that the last time they were in town they played to a crowd "of around four people" according to vocalist and guitarist Georgia McDonald. The room was packed and spilling out into the lobby.

Even though there were three people on stage, each contributing their part to the folky post-grunge songs in their own way, it would be easy to forget the other two were there. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that McDonald forgot that everyone was there, too. Not in a self-indulgent way, but rather her focus and passion in every song were as though she was performing just for herself. In Camp Cope's own brand of angst-ridden catharsis, the audience was able to sing their hearts out without judgement.

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Every so often, McDonald would open her eyes and give a wry-but-humble smile as if to say, 'Oh that's right, there is a heap of people here, and I am pretty chuffed that you all came along'.

Camp Cope are one of those acts that, when you hear a song for the first time, it stops you in your tracks. McDonald's voice is so free of pretension that the lyrics are not only gut-wrenching but also exceptionally relatable. That's why the audience had taken the time to learn every word.

Watching Camp Cope is like watching a baby bird emerge from their egg: it's a little grubby and a tiny bit painful, but the start of something beautiful and fragile. Once the crowd prised their feet from the lino they left any remaining angst and hurt stuck to that pub floor and walked out feeling as light as a feather.