Live Review: Totally Mild, Jess Ribeiro, RVG, Jade Imagine

7 May 2018 | 1:23 pm | Kelly Herbison

"Her sounds are unwaveringly powerful and thoughtful."

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As we enter Melbourne Museum for tonight's Our Golden Friend x Nocturnal event, it feels like a school excursion gone wrong, but for all the right reasons - with bars scattered across the foyer, a stand where we can buy alcoholic icy poles, and of course, tonight's main stage propped up in front at the centre of it all.

Jade Imagine are tonight's first act, with Jade McInally on vocals and guitar, Liam "Snowy" Halliwell (The Ocean Party) on bass, Tim Harvey (Emma Louise) on guitar, and James Harvey (Teeth and Tongue) on drums. The outfit waste no time in getting their dream-pop sound stirring throughout the museum. Their set consists of numbers from their 2017 EP What The Fuck Was I Thinking, as well as some tracks that vocalist McInally tells us are "from the new [album]", which is currently in the works. The low-fi haze of their set is made all the more otherworldly as giant bees on sticks descend and weave among the audience.

Punters have plenty of time between sets to grab a drink and investigate what the museum has to offer. We make our way through exhibitions showing Viking weaponry, the history of 'treatments' for mental illness, as well as the more light-hearted experience of checking out the slightly botched expressions of taxidermied animals.

We're summoned back downstairs as RVG take to the stage. Romy Vager's reputation as a hypnotising frontwoman precedes her, as the audience is gripped from the get-go. They pull out a selection of tracks from their acclaimed A Quality Of Mercy album. Audience members let out a "woo" before each song, realising that this one is actually their favourite. After captivating the audience with the brutally stirring number, That's All, Vager jokes, "You know, some people say that [RVG] should be in a museum... so I guess take tonight as a temporary installation."

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The audience reconfigures for Jess Ribeiro, whose emotive alt-folk-post-punk fusion continues the evening's brooding tone. The hard-hitting sounds of her band complement her vocals perfectly by adding an edgy dimension to the sound. Ribeiro prefaces Rivers On Fire with the disclaimer, "So, we're going to play an old one, let's hope we don't fuck it up," before playing it seamlessly. After a few songs, Ribeiro tells us, "Ok, so that was us taking you down the K-hole for a bit, but we're going to come out now... Here's a song about tennis!" as they lead into a more upbeat direction for the latter half of their set.

Totally Mild are tonight's final act and take to the stage with their first number, Sky. With the group having just released a stellar LP, Her, the audience are eager to get a glimmer of how the tracks play out in a live setting. Vocalist Elizabeth Mitchell welcomes us into her "24th hour of being awake!", which is hard to believe, as her sounds are unwaveringly powerful and thoughtful. The four-piece conjure alt-pop dreamy surf sounds, with Mitchell taking swigs from a large jug of water between tracks. The group provides the perfect end to tonight's showcase of Our Golden Friend's ridiculously talented group of artists.