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Live Review: st vincent, fire! santa rosa, fire!, mini-bikes

4 April 2012 | 2:29 pm | Anthony Rebela

More St Vincent More St Vincent

A cool Wednesday evening out in Melbourne town and the Hi-Fi is abuzz with the indie kids ready to ingest some tunes. First up is local talent Mini-Bikes. With their jangly, happy-go-lucky hooks and polished girl/boy vocals, they easily get the sparse crowd interested, especially with their current track Kill To Feel. Lead singer Marcel Borrack's Elvis Costello vocals mixed with the band's Dirty Projectors-meets-Dogs Die In Hot Cars feel makes for a very pleasant support indeed.

Next up, Adelaide stalwarts Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! strut their new groove and quickly blister their way to newer, more atmospheric sounds, occasionally bursting out in guitar solo sonic style but then reining it in with lead singer Caitlin Duff's impressive range. New tunes Little Cowboys, Bad Hombres and Panther Shrine are standouts and bring a calypso feel to the room as fans and newbies alike can't help but find their feet a-tapping.

With the place now firmly packed-out, eager eyes and ears are greeted by the rockin' sexy silhouette of Annie Clark, better known as St Vincent. Starting with the precision of Surgeon beckoning us to help find someone to cut her open, she then proceeds to show off her guitar skills, working the array of pedals to finish an ethereal, head boppin' opener.

Refusing to mess about, Clark proceeds to move through both her old and new material. Current single Cheerleader brings new fans to attention while Marrow, Actor Out Of Work and Save Me From What I Want ignite the fires of the 'old' fans that relish the first full band showing of Clark down under. Some odd finger pointing that could be misconstrued as dance moves indicate Clark's struggling to get the levels just right and when she hits a slight bump in the road during Dilettante, twice forgetting the lyrics in the first verse, she looks like she's losing her cool a bit. But this pause in the show is welcomed as it allows for some banter with the crowd and gives us a look into the laidback personality behind the tough exterior. She quickly gets back on track with more guitar shredding, angsty fist pumping and angelic vocals with the occasional growl. The crowd is impressed with the soft/sweet, hard/harsh mix of Strange Mercy, Year Of The Tiger and Your Lips Are Red before everybody trudges out exhausted and with mid-week indie-pop fixes thoroughly satiated.

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