Almost 20 years since the end of The Triffids, between raising a family and being an architect, Jill Birt has been slow building an evolving solo career that has led her to the release of her new album, Render & Prosper. In the intimate setting of The Fly Trap, Richard Lane opened an evening that was all about appreciating great songwriters and Australian talent. Lane's husky vocals nervously filled the room as he introduced us to the familiar slick, bluesy rockin' guitar riffs of his days with The Stems, and a mix of solo acoustic songs about ”broken hearts, cars, girls and all that stuff”, including a great cover of Walking The Dog. Whilst not vocally perfect, there was something authentic about his presence and garage attitude that drew you in and continued to hold you.
Staging a smooth contrast, Davey Lane got straight into his first real WA tour as a solo artist, showing a diverse mix of his new material, which proves him to be a confident songwriter. Musically, Lane has achieved a lot in his time with You Am I and others, and this was evident in his performance and ability to hook you in from the first note, weaving you around with intensity and rhythm fluctuations. Despite still being shaky from some 4am tequila shots, Let It Go showcased his pitch-perfect vocals while Transportation gleamed in strength and clarity. Lane also brought out the ukulele for Only One Will Do before taking a humorous, tastier turn with Keep Your Eyes To Yourself For The Night to close his set in style.
With an almost chilling start to the set, the keyboard player and occasional vocalist behind '80s rock legends The Triffids, Jill Birt, joined here by fellow Triffid Alsy MacDonald, and Adrian and Shaun Hoffman, brought the fervent crowd an electric mix of classy pop-star-like songs. Birt's heart-wrenching vocals were quick to consume the crowd, embedding goose bumps on arms and transporting us into a haunting yet vibrant world with at times a Bjork and Sugarcubes feel to it. Despite the power cutting out partway through and Richard Lane officially stopping the show, whichever way you want to look at it, the drumbeat rolled on and the crowd kept cheering until things quickly got back to normal. Phoenix Highway and Still Life showed the full capacity of Birt's striking voice. When the Hoffmans left the stage for a song, MacDonald and Birt's duet revealed a great vocal blend. Not being satisfied with just the one encore, the crowd egged them on for a second and were treated to an unexpected visit from The Triffids' Rob McComb, joining them on stage to play guitar for Goodbye Little Boy. If tonight was anything to go by, Birt's new album will no doubt be a success.