Live Review: Kellie Lloyd & Tim Steward

2 September 2014 | 2:00 pm | Amorina Fitzgerald Hood

Brisbane gets intimate with long-time pals and bandmates Kellie Lloyd and Tim Steward.

Watching today’s Live Spark is like being a fly on the wall while two long-time friends and bandmates jam out in their loungeroom.

Playing two sets together, Kellie Lloyd and Tim Steward take it in turns to be soloist and a sidekick. Drawing from their work together in Screamfeeder, Steward’s band We All Want To and their respective solo albums, there is a lot of ground to cover and explore in this acoustic setting.

With over two decades’ worth of material between them, it is the camaraderie between them that helps give such a large volume of work context. There is good-natured ribbing and a clear admiration of what each other has to offer. They introduce each other’s songs with varying levels of clarity, Steward keeping stock of years and titles while Lloyd laughs at her own terrible memory. (“This song is off... Tim, which album is this one off? It's not Kitten Licks? It is! Wow!”) This is reflected in their songwriting, the former’s tunes are wordy and grounded in the everyday, while the latter’s airy voice and ephemeral imagery paint a more abstract picture.

Lyrics usually nested in the hum of guitars and drums are laid bare, and showcase some great lines in Steward’s songs like Ramp Up The Bleeding. Lloyd, who hosts songwriting panel Waxing Lyrical, prompts discussion over lyrics a few times after Steward plays.

Ramp Up The Bleeding has some great comment on the nature of art, distance from experience and modern life. “Stop reading about romance, stop dreaming about dreaming, stop writing letters to yourself – you’re never gonna read them. Stop standing out of frame, stop caressing your phone...” The two joke about a game called What’s My First Line?, partly a test to see if a bandmate knows the songs as well as the singer, and partly laughing at the terror of a mind blank at the starting gate.  

The covers chosen are varied and show their influences, suiting the relaxed hum of the afternoon. There is a hat tip to Chrissie Amphlett early on with Kellie Lloyd choosing Divinyls’ Boys In Town, and the second set features the two singing together on The Breeders’ Do You Love Me Now and Danny Says by Ramones. They collaborate so seamlessly, and there are some wonderful moments when they pull out the Screamfeeder tracks.

A rendition of Pigtails On A Rock is a real treat, the pulsating harmonics hypnotising beneath the defiant, petulant lyrics. Stopless ends the afternoon, the rolling shuffle of the guitar and stream of lyrics a calming river to float away on.