Live Review: Nicholas Allbrook, Glass Skies, Druid Fluids

26 March 2016 | 10:56 am | James Dawes

"While it was out there and oddball-like, and seemed hard to take at times, there were moments of genius."

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Down in the basement of the Pirie & Co Social Club, the oozingly silky bass lines and swirling guitars of Druid Fluids brought the initial crowd to the stage with their warming psychedelic tones and drones.

The venue began to pick up immensely as Glass Skies brought the party with their non-stop, high-energy, voodoo jams to a more packed mob of tie-dyed groovers. Unfortunately, either the sound man, the acoustics of the basement or the guitarists’ amp settings scared off most of the crowd midway through the show due to an ear-piercingly high frequency which took away from the obvious professionally of the band. 

In the intermissions, the down-to-earth Nicholas Allbrook was floating around chatting to people like he was here to watch the show, no ego whatsoever. He got on the intimate stage with just himself, his electric guitar and a keyboard. Minus his usual bandmates he backed himself with pre-recorded backing tracks and samples. His usual, whimsical quirk-pop melodies, sung in a style reminiscent of Pink Floyd's The Wall and Final Cut, were intertwined with electronic trances and hallucinogenic qualities. Essentially, that was the entirety of the set. Depending on personal opinion, it could be seen as repetitive. He’s still trying to find his identity as a performer. The crowd began to drop off as a result.

His infectious, unpretentious personality came through between songs as he spoke to the crowd, telling the fellow people, "Adelaide is the bees dick!" with "great colonial architecture". These moments were awesome, getting to know Allbrook on a different level than just a tripped-out, out-of-this-world human. 

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The venue didn't provide the best stage for an intimate solo performance due to only seeing his kooky, bright pink hair through the sea of people. If, however, you threw yourself to the front two rows, you would witness his wacky stage persona. Allbrook's unpredictable nature interacted nicely with the theatrics and emotion of his songwriting, and his absurd lyrical content, which transitioned between the dark and bright, flowed as if a stream of consciousness. While it was out there and oddball-like, and seemed hard to take at times, there were moments of genius that need to be fleshed out. In saying this, it is clear that he is an immensely creative soul, an artiste, a love child of Roger Waters and David Bowie.