Sunday, 25 August 2013

Gig Review - Kira Puru + The Bruise

Kira Puru + The Bruise
w/ Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens and Post Paint
Live @ Polish White Eagle Club, Canberra (23/08/13)
Review by Matt Bond

I have a confession to make… I live in Canberra. Gasp, feigned surprise. Yes, it be true. I traded in the deliciousness of Brisbane warmth for the bitter cold that permeates from our nation’s capital. After over six months of living in the ‘Berra, I realised I had yet to venture out and experience what it is to see a gig in the place I now call home. Perhaps it was the previously mentioned ‘bitter cold’ keeping me from getting up from under the covers and out into the dark, freezing night. Or, I’m just a bit lazy. Either way, when I saw Kira Puru and The Bruise were heading to Canberra on Friday, I knew I was going to have to suck it up and get the hell out of the house. Because everything is better with Kira Puru.

The night got off to a bit of a late start, with Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens entertaining their hometown crowd with tracks from second album Family Pets, and a striking cover of The Drones’ ‘Shark Fin Blues’. Julia Johnson’s voice live was really quite breathtaking, even if she was sadly in the midst of losing it. Rosie Stevens and Eloise Menzies added sweet harmonies to tracks like ‘Little Surprises’ and Stevens busted out some beautiful cello work throughout too. Canberra people, I hear these guys play a lot around town, so do yourselves a favour and go see them and support your local artists. After another arduous sound check, Sydney’s Post Paint took to the stage to do their thing. Highlights included ‘Crest of the Wave’ and ‘Flickering Flame’, with Kira Puru joining the band for those tracks. Because everything is better with Kira Puru.

After a painless sound check, Kira Puru and The Bruise took to the stage and delivered what can only be described as a flawless performance. Seriously. This band is the real deal and the next hour of doom pop extravagance was easily the tightest, greatest set I’ve seen in a long time. The response from the previously docile polite crowd following ‘When All Your Love Is Not Enough’ was something to behold. I think even the delightful Ms Puru was taken aback from the appreciative roar. Having been blown away by the band at BIGSOUND Live last year, I was keen to hear something new and get an indication of where KP+TB were heading musically and that came in the form of ‘Water’. As heavy as anything we’ve come to expect, with gorgeous vocal delivery and an extra infusion of ‘Wade In The Water’ soul. “My soul is diseased, just bleeds and bleeds and bleeds.” My immediate reaction was, “holy [insert swear of choice], that’s good music,” and the crowd obviously thought the same. Everyone in the room was on their feet and dancing like there was no tomorrow. If there’s a new EP coming out soon, it can’t come soon enough.

“Don’t ask me what I’m thinking, I got answers up my sleeve, and you and your denial ain’t worth my while.” Have you heard ‘The Liar’ live? The way Puru delivers her lines demands your attention, before Geordie Shaw and Jamieson Shaw completely let loose with unbelievable guitar work. This song is the sex. It’s so sexy it hurts and upon hearing those opening lines I was completely lost in the performance. This was definitely the highlight of the night for me, but it was challenged by a cover of Kylie Minogue’s ‘Confide In Me’.  Yes, you read that right. Kira Puru and The Bruise tackled Kylie’s seductive ballad and it was magic. If you think Kylie created pop perfection with the track, wait until you hear it tackled by a more than capable Kira Puru.

It was great to see the band clearly enjoying themselves on tracks like ‘Ragdoll Baby’ and another newer track ‘Step Into The Light’, but nothing says fun like mashing up Portishead’s ‘Wandering Star’ with Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. Yeah buddy, Kira got her rap on and the crowd were eating it up. The crowd were eating the whole performance up and were rewarded with two knockout encore performances to send us home more than satisfied. I don’t think I can stress this enough… if you see that Kira Puru and The Bruise are going to be performing in your town, city, whatever – you have to make an effort to go see them. They’re worth going out in the freezing cold, scorching heat, a snowstorm, a sandstorm, a thunder storm. I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down. All you need to know is that no matter situation you find yourself in, heading out to see Kira Puru and The Bruise is worth your time and money. Because everything is better with Kira Puru.

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