Live Review: Emma Louise, Argentina, Dads

23 July 2012 | 1:08 pm | Alex Hardy

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It was a gentle start to the final stop of Emma Louise's Sparks tour, with Big Scary's Tom Lansek opening the evening with his solo project Dads. His music was light and soothing, and some harmonies from guest female vocalists from the acts to come added a nice touch, particularly on a sweet cover of The Jezabels' song Hurt Me.

Next on the line-up, Alex Ritchie's solo project Argentina was incarnated live as a four-piece band, but remained largely in the chilled vein. His music was pleasant and easy listening, but nothing particularly memorable and a liberal injection of personality would have helped keep the swelling crowd listening. The background buzz grew as the room filled and although the second half of their set did improve, it wasn't captivating.

Emma Louise sings like her heart is on her sleeve. Her delicate voice rings with honesty, and emotion is audible in every breath and sigh, however it is the sort of voice best consumed whilst seated on grass in dappled shade, outdoors, on a summer's day. In the concrete confines of a black box filled with warm bodies, it seemed a little lost and couldn't quite hold the crowd to the attention it deserved.

On stage she was a sparkling vision in her sequined dress and golden light, and although she seemed comfortable and confident, she is yet to learn how to command a room. Her latest single Boy was a definite highlight of the set, near record perfect in sound and delivery. The remainder of her set was super chilled and it seemed an interesting choice not to close with the most upbeat of her songs. Jungle disappointingly lacked the oomph and thundering drums it deserved and closer 1000 Sundowns, though beautiful, seemed to kill the momentum a little. Nonetheless, an encore was had.

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