The Toff in Town, 26/02/2013
Looking around this sparsely populated room makes the present writer want to kick Melbourne in the balls. With people exploding their brains trying to find ways to describe My Bloody Valentine's newest opus, and paying $100 to see their show, that Lowtide, one of the finest shoegaze bands on the planet, can barely attract fifty people at the end of a poorly attended residency is unfathomable. Sure it's a Tuesday and yes they’re not as well known (or known for making themselves known), but this is a band, it only takes seconds to realize, who know exactly what they’re doing.
Preferring to let foreign bloggers wax lyrical than court attention, the band turn in a flooring effort tonight and preview most of their forthcoming debut album. This will of course, be completely brilliant, promoted by Lewis mumbling through his copious fringe about obscure effects units and sell about ten copies, of which I'll own two, none of which will stop it being a shining example of timeless genius. Singers Giles Simon and Lucy Buckeridge have never sounded stronger than tonight, and confidence and power is the overwhelming theme of their music. No longer slow and languid, many songs (such as Hey Rose and Blue Movie) are gut-lifting, headlong rushes into somewhere beautiful, full of volume and certain of intent; like clinging to a bullet train. With a spinning mirrorball above, spotlights trained on the ceiling, and dry ice thickening the air, the delicate textures and twining harmonies of Whale and Spring emphatically build and release, while the older Underneath Tonight and No Horizon close the set with loose majesty.
Making this one of the best shows in months is the opening set from another band due to release a blinder of an album, Montero. Whether it’s the quality of the PA or a good mood, singer Bjenny Montero's voice sounds richer and more expressive than ever. A tender, careful placement of words and space during the quieter sections seems to give the songs an epic quality that the music emphasises once it arrives. The band’s tight fury and Montero’s expressive vocals show yet another reason why they're going to own this town once the album drops. Out there doing their own thing, this dynamite collection of talent have a deft way with the 70s schmaltz that few could deny. As Bjenny himself says, signing off: 'awesome, awesome times'.