Live Review: Doctopus, Dianas, Eva Niollet

29 February 2016 | 3:13 pm | Frankie Mann

"Gaps in between songs were filled with Bellair's cheeky banter, seeing him receive shirts and hats from the 20-somethings up the front."

Blink and you would have missed French-born Eva Niollet's opening song, a sombre tune sung in her native tongue. This was Niollet's debut show with a band, which was clear as their set progressed; she appeared to be constantly reading her lyrics while the rest of her band had their eyes glued to their instruments. Her gentle voice against a jazz-like sound transported The Bird to a dingy, smoke-filled bar in the heart of Paris.

Dianas captivated the audience with their haunting, harmonised vocals, producing an otherworldly and infectious dream pop sound. It didn't take long until the entire crowd was copying Nathalie Pavlovic's dance moves; Pavlovic seemed to be entirely absorbed in the music — her body and soul pouring into every note. The three-piece blitzed through a set of very similar sounding songs, each featuring the same build-up and use of perfectly synchronised vocals. One Day sounded like a pair of gently wailing banshees had been released on stage, with Caitlin Moloney and Pavlovic ditching any song lyrics for a minute of "ah ha". For their first show since Pavlovic and drummer John Lekias, who also appears in Doctopus, returned from America, the trio were tight and precise, proving that a little hiatus never hurt anyone.

Doctopus' raw, lo-fi sound was an odd change after the chilled out vibes from Niollet and Dianas — but this didn't seem to bother the crowd who were keeping up with Doctopus' constantly switching tempo. After technical difficulties with a bass pedal the band rushed into opening track, Mettam's Pool. The pesky pedals seemed to plague Stephan Bellair throughout their set, with him regularly dropping to the floor to try and fix the problem. It seems the ground is a regular place for Doctopus members to play, as guitarist Jeremy Holmes could often be found curled up next to an amp, seemingly lost in the music. AOE gave relief to the dedicated headbangers, Bellair ditching his bass to thrust around the stage as he sang, while Patty Mills had the entire room grooving along, the infectiously catchy beat impossible to ignore. Gaps in between songs were filled with Bellair's cheeky banter, seeing him receive shirts and hats from the 20-somethings up the front, and reminding everyone to "Tip your bar staff, cunts." Doctopus' breakneck speeds and unmelodious sound definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, but an audience never lies and the trio have clearly made a name for themselves amongst the garage-rock scene.