Live Review: Gossling, Winter People, Hayden Calnin

30 April 2012 | 8:51 pm | Rachel Tinney

Gossling steps onstage proclaiming tonight’s set is like a mullet: “business up the front, party at the back”.

There are some venues that make you want to dance and spill beer over everyone within a two-metre radius of you, then there are others that make you want to sit on the slightly sticky floor and just soak it all in (the music that is, not the beer). Black Bear Lodge is the latter.

First up tonight appearing before a smattering of floor-sitters is Melbourne soloist Hayden Calnin. Armed with a loop pedal, Calnin is best described as a cross between Matt Corby and Bon Iver. He's got both the deep, emotive growls and the bittersweet angelics down pat and his subtle instrumentation draws you into his own little world. He's transfixing to watch.

To follow is Winter People and with six in the band (including two violinists!), they barely fit on the stage. Starting off down-tempo to show off their harmonics with Valley Hymn, they soon launch into a number of driving folksy numbers that play on all of their musical strengths, including one of the violinist's abilities to multitask with a xylophone. A few songs in, lead singer Dylan Baskind remarks on the oddness of the floor-sitting before launching into their most aggressive track, The Banker's Lament (“[It'll be] a bit like Metallica at a John Lennon sit in”). Unfortunately for Baskind, no-one rises to their feet, but looking around there is a bit of seated dancing going on. My Town also causes a few more people to stir but it's the closer Gallons that really gets those arms moving.

Soon enough the floor is littered with even more bodies as Gossling steps onstage proclaiming tonight's set is like a mullet: “business up the front, party at the back”. It's lines like these and her sweet disposition that make this girl more than just a cutesy voice. Actually, it's her ability to write powerfully heartfelt songs that make her more than that girl. Sending her band offstage halfway through and stepping out from behind the security of her keyboard, Gossling picks up a guitar (admitting she's not the greatest at it) and busts out a beautiful cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. Remembering she's forgotten to pay her phone bill during The Only Way she's soon back on track, ending I Was Young with the chorus of Boys Like You, which even Gossling admits sounds a bit awkward (“You're not here because of 360 are you?”). After her final song and latest single Wild Love, everyone gets up, stretches their legs and disappears up the back to stand and greet the girl that's more than just a little voice.

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