Live Review: Maria Minerva, Blank Realm, Tralala Blip

4 September 2012 | 1:55 pm | Bradley Armstrong

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Four Tet, eat your heart out, driving up from Lismore Tralala Blip kick off proceedings with the group using an array of instruments, including a miniaturised Theremin, Bjork-style reactive audio blocks and samples galore. There's a few technical glitches at first, but once they get going they lure you into a world of expansive light-hearted electronica with simple heartfelt lyrics. Of the four members three switch in between vocals throughout the night, offering a different perspective on each composition. Members of the group have various disabilities and together create something truly unique which shows a level of positivity and creativity, which a lot of bands fail to radiate live or on record. 

A rather quick turnaround sees Blank Realm kick off with a swagger of new tracks ahead of their upcoming release. Growing Inside opens and has a very different feel to it, radiating an almost classic rock/psychedelic vibe to a comparatively dense track. Once again, sound is a big issue with the un-mic'd drum kit almost drowning out the towering amplifier and PA. Fortunately, things improve and the differing sounds the band have on show tonight have a feel almost as if they're soundtracking NYE 1986 at a house show instead of the final countdown at Times Square, with the synth raining high and the jams free flowing and radiating good times. In the end, though, it does feel a little short and over too quickly, but without a doubt a glimpse into good things to come. 

Maria Minerva begins set of art rock electronica with the feedback knob on her vocal delay pedal borderlining ten and samples flying every which direction. From the get go, her projections are obviously deigned to sync up with each track and as things progress, they get more and more out of time to the point of tedium to watch and experience, this is only worsened by technical issues and lengthy delays in between tracks. Musically it's hard not to be impressed with the power of Minerva's vocal strength and choice of samples being manipulated. An awkward encore completes the set, but ends it on a good note. Again, technical issues aside it's a solid performance which would deserve a second look in the future. Tonight though feels like a great soundcheck rather than a comprehensive performance.

Tonight is a really great display of talent that exists away from the mainstream light, with the feel of all the bands involved suggesting that they are all pop at heart. It's a solid experience which could only be enhanced by a bigger platform for the groups involved, which will no doubt happen for them in the future.

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