Middle Kids are on tour in preparation for their new EP out in May, and it started in Brisbane last Wednesday night at The Triffid.
Local indie rising starts Sweater Curse were joining as supports for both Bris-Vegas shows, using their same genre sound to lay the groundwork for the Middle Kids set to come. Chris from the band was rocking what I hope is his new signature look; matching black skinny jeans and skivvy.
The majority of their set consisted of songs from their EP See You, with a couple of new tracks thrown into the mix (And before you judge, I tried to get the names for the new songs, but my yelled questions from the back started to border on harassment).
If you are looking to check out some Sweater Curse, give ‘Z9’ and ‘Mon’s Song’ a listen. Monica and Chris share vocal duties for the band, adding diversity and versatility to their set. ‘Mon’s Song’ in particular sees Monica really subdue her vocals for the verses, before breaking out for the choruses.
Special mention goes to Rei on drums, who delivered some consistently high energy beats through the set. I legit enjoyed just watching him smash cymbals on a couple of the tracks.
The tail end of Sweater Curse also saw the arrival of a couple of lost punters, who had apparently arrived at the wrong concert. Loud and excited wooing didn’t really fit the emotional gut punches Sweater Curse and Middle Kids delivered. I spied Monica from Sweater Curse give them a confused look after a particularly loud woo.
Not sure if it was planned irony, but, Middle Kids first track of the night was ‘Never Start’, which is about the best place to start listening to Middle Kids.The band walks a fine line between ballad folk and indie rock, so, it was good to hear the guitar really rocking on ‘On My Knees’. Put that rock into their indie rock, as things were going to be stripped back a couple of times over the course of the evening. ‘Beliefs & Prayers’, a new song off the upcoming 6 song EP, gave the crowd a mid-set glimpse of what to expect from new Middle Kids. I’ll need to have another listen to it once it releases, but, I thought I heard some gospel influences mixed in. Which is probably the case considering the name of the track.
Hannah then put her guitar down and got on the keyboard. The version of ‘Tell Me Something’ performed that night was a significantly stripped down version of the track. My assumption is that the version we heard is closer to how the song originally demoed, closer in line with Hannah’s earlier, more folky work.
Immediately after the mood was reversed and we experienced the crowd energy peak during ‘Edge of Town’. Middle Kids' most popular song actually saw a little moshing. Nothing wild or too sweaty, but a few moments where the excitement of the crowd bubbled over. The slow build up before the songs climax really got people going and the band delivered, extending the outro into a roaring finish of smashing drums and guitar frets.
‘Old River’ was the biggest surprise of the night. Drummer Harry got up from behind his kit and pulled out a melodica (if you don’t know the instrument, give it a quick search, it is both iconic and bizarre). Tim and Harry explained that when Hannah originally presented the song, it included the melodica and not the rock elements on the recorded version. You can hear it faintly on the album version, but Hannah’s vocals had a more noticeable southern country tinge, channelling a sound I can only compare to Rumours-esque Stevie Nicks.
The regular set ended with ‘Bought It’ and Harry, back on the drum kit, went all out at the end, diving into a drum shattering finale.
Encore features were the album namesake ‘Lost Friends’ and the last song, “for realsies” as Tim put it, was ‘Mistake’. ‘Mistake’ is my personal top pick off the album, and I may have been singing along a little too loud on this track. But damn it, I got that debt to pay back.
The Middle Kids national tour continues through the rest of the country over the next few weeks, so, if you are keen for some mid-week shenanigans, try and grab a ticket. Be warned, most of have sold out. But don’t despair, even if you can’t make it to the live show, the new EP drops in May.
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