Live Review: Kellie Lloyd and Keep On Dancin's at Brisbane Powerhouse

30 April 2012 | 8:58 pm | Brendan Telford

Music like this is rare these days, which is an incredible shame...

It's a glum and dreary Sunday afternoon, yet the weather and the cavernous confines of the Brisbane Powerhouse's Turbine Hall are a perfect fit for drinking an ale with Keep On Dancin's. The quartet play the gamut of brilliant debut album The End Of Everything, and it is clear that they have lived inside these songs for a very long time, inhabiting a warm groove from the onset and holding it incessantly. Lead Jacinta Walker is a commanding presence with her seductively nonchalant vocals, complemented by Yuri Johnson's reverb-heavy guitar. Your Love Is Mine emanates throughout the room, a slow-burner that couldn't be more noir if the band had been adorned with feathers and fedoras. Hewitt Eyes swirls with an understated menace, and Houston hasn't sounded more desolate and forlorn. There Goes Your Guy is, as always, an unexpected turn towards an upbeat tone, and it is this fine balance that gives them their distinctive edge.

Kellie Lloyd has made waves with her solo debut Magnetic North, and the sizable and very appreciative audience is rapt with an exhilarating performance. Backed by the bombastic drumming of Branko Cosic, Lloyd looks completely at home with a guitar replacing a bass slung over her shoulder. Opening with Foxes Down A Hole, Lloyd cements the fact that she can write a killer hook in her sleep. Her sugar-sweet vocals combine with a raucous musical delivery to energise tracks such as Insect Wings On Ice and Dead Man's Hand. This is no soft singer-songwriter faff; this is consummate rock. Cosic and Lloyd make for a dynamic duo, the mismatch on paper working in the songs' favour – a propulsion that moves these songs into another realm. Lloyd even offers a wailing guitar solo that highlights her admonition of her own guitar skills as being a misstatement of gargantuan proportions. Lloyd finishes strongly and confidently, offering a new song that that is more powerful than it has a right to be. Music like this is rare these days, which is an incredible shame, and a premise that the surprisingly jovial crowd could attest to. Despite the unexpected level of brooding rock tension inherent in these songs, they would be nothing without a strong pop backbone, and Lloyd proves today that in this regard, like influences Mazzy Star and Swervedriver before her, she is a master.