Live Review: Pluto Jonze, Hey Geronimo, Huw Murdoch

19 August 2013 | 5:27 pm | Jacqueline Flynn

All Washed Up brings an underwhelming conclusion to the show. Not because it’s a bad song, but simply because it wasn’t the best choice.

More Pluto Jonze More Pluto Jonze

It can be a hard slog opening up a gig. Huw Murdoch and band have the, frankly, impossible task of winning over a startlingly sober audience of about 18 people. Murdoch's “active opening” isn't quite active enough to jump-start the early arrivals.

Hey Geronimo have a bit more luck injecting life into the growing crowd with their bouncy, Beach Boy-infused, half indie-half pop tunes. Songs such as Dreamboat Jack, Co-Op Bookshop and Why Don't We Do Something? all have the kind of anthemic feel that even the most reluctant audience would find hard to resist. Their performance reflects the energy of their songs, which makes them an ideal support for tonight's headliner.

Taking to the stage in a purple blazer that was surely previously owned by Willy Wonka, Pluto Jonze starts off powerfully with Plastic Bag In A Hurricane. So physical is the performance already, it's expected that we'll soon be covered in popstar sweat. During Love The World Like A Child, Jonze's Theremin falls over. No one seems to notice though, and Jonze's performance is impressively unaffected. Speak With Your Feet offers the perfect opportunity for some projections, adding yet another element to the music that is already so richly layered. Jonze confides that the tour (of which this is the second show) has gotten “off to a rough start” due jamming one of his middle fingers in a car door in Adelaide. Fortunately Jonze doesn't hear the rather impolite man next to us instruct him to “shove it up your arse” and gets on with the show, putting his injured finger through its paces with his trademark Theremin, now back in its upright position. A surprise comes in the form of a cover of En Vogue's Don't Let Go (Love), which finds new life in electric guitar form with a very clever inclusion of Jonze's often used vocoder. Next is Hispedangongonajelanguiro (Capiche?), which leaves Jonze on the floor, playing harmonica for the beginning of the next song. Jonze makes a promise to improve his fitness before his next visit to Melbourne and this will hopefully also mean less use of vocal backing tracks, which tend to take away from the live show. Eject attracts the largest crowd of dancers of the night, and seems a fitting way to end proceedings. However, Jonze makes the unnecessary decision to perform an encore. All Washed Up brings an underwhelming conclusion to the show. Not because it's a bad song, but simply because it wasn't the best choice.