Saturday, 29 June 2013

Gig Review - Michelle Xen and The Neon Wild

Michelle Xen and The Neon Wild
Live at Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane (27/06/13)
Words and Pics by Nayt Housman

Recently we've offered you a taste of Michelle Xen in our Brisbane. Now. Top 20 Countdown and she's popped up in our Top 25 numerous times this year, but now I’ve had the ridiculously large pleasure of seeing her live, TWICE, as part of the production ‘Salõn’ (which finishes June 29) at The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane.


Michelle Xen may be familiar to patrons of The Judith Wright Centre or the live music scene in Brisbane where she has performed with her previous band ‘Edge Of Colour’ and as part of the Lady Electronica collective; a group of talented female electronic artists. Since then Michelle Xen has gone solo, releasing her debut EP ‘Synaesthesiac’ and has now teamed up with another local act ‘The Neon Wild’, currently performing as part of the production ‘Salõn’.

“Toto! I don’t think we’re in Brisbane anymore!” Brisbane is not a city I consider as a source of electro pop capable of taking on the best in the business, yet that could begin to change. Thumping beats are the bricks in the yellow brick road that lead us on this bold, 80’s inspired syth-pop journey. With the looks of a young Daryl Hannah, vocals packing the punch of Mohammed Ali and the stage presence reminiscent of Roisin Murphy and Alison Goldfrapp (two of my fave doyennes of electro pop) Michelle Xen is a commanding artist who needs to be known. On stage she is a sexy human bullet with music as her gun and I promise, you want to be hit with her energy. An extravaganza of bright colours, sequins, silk, metallic fabrics and tulle drape the stunning electro goddess. Then there’s The Neon Wild, like a pack of wild flying monkeys, not just content to fade into the dim stage background, their energy equally matching Xen’s electric personality with their own fiery personas and heavy hitting performance.


Michelle Xen And The Neon Wild performed songs from Xen’s EP ‘Synaesthesiac’ like ‘Lose My Cool’ and her current single, the super catchy ‘L.O.V.E’ as well as a few totally revamped covers like Blondie’s ‘Atomic’, MKS’s ‘Lay Down In Swimming Pools’ and a snippet of Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’. Xen’s style can be likened to Moloko, Roisin Murphy, Goldfrapp or even Grace Jones but don’t for one minute think it as cut ‘n’ paste dance-pop. Xen manages to keep her music style fresh and punchy, with nods to her influences delivered in her own sassy packaging. This is one Brisbane artist en route to make waves in the Australian and world wide electro-pop genre.


You can download a copy of Michelle Xen's EP on her bandcamp page or you can catch Michelle Xen and her Neon Wild friends at Brisbane’s Teneriffe Festival on July 6th or in Sydney at the Oxford Arts Factory on August 2nd. I highly recommend you do.

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