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Live Review: Maddy Jane, Clews, Stumps

23 April 2018 | 4:41 pm | Michael Prebeg

"Jane's unique indie-pop sound could be filed somewhere between other endearing Aussie artists such as Courtney Barnett and Alex Lahey who simply tell it like it is."

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Stumps capture our attention quickly with their explosive, high-energy performance and frontman Kyle Fisher's brooding, commanding vocals. Their upbeat Britpop, indie-rock sound makes everyone boogie along and latch onto their infectiously charismatic style.

Sisters Lily and Grace Richardson are Clews. One of them has an injured hand tonight, but this certainly doesn't stop them making waves. For anyone who's a fan of First Aid Kit, they'll be sure to dig Clews' folk-rock vibe with soaring, harmonised melodies, uplifting hooks and driving guitar riffs. 

Fairy lights are gaffer-taped to the tinsel-covered back wall for a bit of extra shine before Maddy Jane kicks off her set. There are a lot of people packed into this small room tonight, because it's completely sold-out - the first of Jane's shows to sell out, ever, we read on the Facebook event page. "It's really fucking hot in here, is anyone else feeling this way?" she asks the audience, who look pretty sweaty. Jane dives into a few tunes from her EP Not Human At All, which she tells us wasn't released that long ago so she's amazed that people know all the words to the songs.

Her music is immediately catchy with relatable lyrics, particularly if you're originally from a small town. Her frantic energy and confident attitude shine through as she sings tracks including Drown It Out and Ideal. The upbeat guitar melodies get us moving and tapping our feet despite being wedged together, shoulder-to-shoulder. Jane's unique indie-pop sound could be filed somewhere between other endearing Aussie artists such as Courtney Barnett and Alex Lahey who simply tell it like it is. 

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The band leave the stage to allow Jane to play a brand new song solo, which she reveals hasn't been played live many times to date. She puts a call out to anyone who has name ideas for this untitled song with an acoustic vibe and raw quality that's hard not to love. In among all of her angry break-up songs, Jane plays another fresh song that she tells us she's been playing live, but is yet to release. "I was in New Zealand supporting Harry Styles last year and everyone got their phone lights out for this song, so now I feel super confident about playing it," she says. 

Jane can't really move from her spot on the stage to go anywhere before an encore, so instead she just announces she'll play a few more tracks for us including the crowd-favourite Thank You And Sorry. "I'm from Tasmania and I wrote this song [No Other Way] about Tasmania," she reveals. Jane finishes off with a song that's not her own, but rather a fantastic cover of Paul Kelly's How To Make Gravy. This smalltown girl is certainly going places and it's only a matter of time before she sells out venues double this size.