Sunday, 4 August 2013

Gig Review - MTNS, Iluka and Avaberee

MTNS, Iluka and Avaberee
Live @ the Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane (01/08/2013)
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Cordell Sanders

It's no secret that I really love live music, so it really shouldn't be a surprise I was at the delightfully cosy Black Bear Lodge in Brisbane last week to witness something that is still a little secret.


Climbing the deliciously intimidating stairs of the Black Bear, I could hear the sounds of MTNS already drifting toward the back of the venue, so I was thankful I don't drink (on Thursday nights) and thankful human behaviour is a little odd. (I may not ever really understand that invisible line between the bar and the stage that seems to take forever to cross, forcing supporting bands to play to wooden floorboards and air while everyone is drinking and too afraid to stand closer, but I am thankful it happens because it generally ensures I get a good spot toward the front.) Thankfully, I arrived during the first song, which was exactly what I needed after a long week. I don't know what it was called, but the lyric "put your feet back on the ground and keep walking" resonated with me and it only took that song for me to decide I was a fan.

Introducing themselves meekly as "M-T-N-S, sometimes we get called mountains" confirmed my fan status, and while their debut single 'Lost Track Of Time' was beautiful and clearly a crowd pleaser, the highlight for me was another (unnamed) track as the sound of Tom Eggert's vocal "I stay awake, I can't breathe" was absolutely spine-tingling. It's a shame their set was so short, as I could have listened to this atmospheric sound all night.


If spying one of the coveted seats, close to the stage on the wall at the Black Bear can be like winning the lottery, my lucky numbers came up on Thursday as I made my way to a wall for the fabulous Iluka. Taking the stage in a green 70's maxi dress, this was a girl with style I hoped was going to live up to her fabulous look. She did. What fun her and her band are. How a combination of 70's folk rock, 50's doo-wop and 60's Motown work together is a complete mystery to me, but I dare not question the gods of music and just enjoy the performance that was. Treated to some new tracks 'Sweet Marianne', 'Juliette' and her latest single 'Glory Days', Iluka is the type of performer that is hard to take your eyes from, there's that magnetism they speak of in the music industry, the 'x factor' they named a TV show after and her voice is one that demands to be heard. I'm really glad I heard it Thursday night and look forward to hearing more.

While Avaberee began their stage preparation, the invisible line between the bar and the stage disappeared as the venue filled with (mostly) girls all making their way to the front, clamouring for a spot to see the local girls about to take the stage.


Beginning with the style they seem most comfortable with, their acapella talents really are impressive. You can't deny the talent of Aimee Cavanagh, Genevieve Bufalino and Irena Lysiuk when they don't need any instruments to create these kinds of sounds. While I've always been a fan of the vocal gymnastics of acapella groups, it was refreshing to see three girls take their talent and turn it into indie pop perfection, looping, beats, synths and guitar adding to the adventure of their vocal. We were treated to the first song they ever wrote together, as well as their popular track 'Lover Of Mine', an awesome cover of Justin Timberlake’s 'Cry Me A River' and of course, the reason for the tour, the new single 'Running Out'. Avaberee finished off the night sweetly, seeming to be genuinely surprised and impressed with the crowd that gathered and proving their place as a group to look out for.

Nights like Thursday are sometimes my favourite types of live music nights. While a reasonable  crowd gathered for the talents of all three groups, it's gigs like these I like to say I was at. I knew the secret talents of Avaberee, Iluka and MTNS before a lot of other people and their talents are so good I hope they aren't a secret for much longer.

You can catch Avaberee and Iluka as they make their way around the country with special guests along the way and check out some photos from their Brisbane gig at itsmykindofscene on facebook and instagram!

Avaberee, Iluka and special guests will be at...

Sunday, 4th August - Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Heads
Wednesday, 7th August - The Pier, Port Macquarie
Thursday, 8th August - Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland
Friday, 9th August - SG Presents, Seaforth
Saturday, 10th August - Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
Sunday, 11th August - Front Gallery, Canberra
Saturday, 17th August - The Workers Club, Melbourne

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