Live Review: First Aid Kit

10 March 2015 | 11:59 am | Rachel Inglis

Swedish duo graced Perth as humble as ever.

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In 2010 in a field in Somerset, I sat with around 70 others watching two nervous teenage sisters from Sweden play tracks from their debut album. Whenever they saw someone singing along, their faces lit up with a shy grin that said, ‘I can’t believe people know our songs.’ Five years, two more albums, performances on Letterman, Conan and Ellen and plenty of accolades later, First Aid Kit’s Johanna and Klara Söderberg still had the same humbled looks on their faces at their sold-out headline show at Perth’s Chevron Festival Gardens.

Accompanied by Melvin ‘The Tiger’ Duffy on pedal steel guitar and mandolin, and Scott Simpson on drums, the Söderberg sisters dove in with the title track from their second album, The Lion’s Roar. With long, flowing hair and fringed jackets nodding at both a love for the ‘70s and their country-folk leanings, Johanna and Klara’s sweet, humble stage presence was saved for their between-song banter, as every song was delivered with the maturity and energy that comes from growing up touring. Their haunting lyrics have always seemed wiser than their years, yet doubt of their veracity is quickly wiped away on stage.

The girls joked about their ‘party anthem’, Blue, a particularly depressing illustration of their storytelling talents before getting the crowd clapping along to King Of The World – the recorded version features indie-folk royalty in Conor Oberst. With three LPs behind them, playing two covers seemed an odd choice, but as the audience was stilled by their rendition of Paul Simon’s America, the decision was more than justified. By some miracle, Johanna and Klara have perfectly matched alto and soprano voices, Johanna’s harmonies floating under Klara’s soaring melodies. Forget harps and angels, if heaven isn’t soundtracked by these girls in harmony it’s no promised land to me.

America was followed by 2014 single, My Silver Lining, before Klara and Johanna charmed the audience with a story (complete with impression) of a phone call from Jack White before playing his Love Interruption. The main set came to a close with Master Pretender and Wolf – a bonus track from their second album.

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The encore featured the raucous dance-along, Heaven Knows, before the ever-anticipated Emmylou. Johanna and Klara stepped out from their microphones and called on the crowd to “Sing little darling, sing with me”, and to quote Conor Oberst: “When the voices blend they sound like angels”.