Lo @ The Bird
w/ Girl From Mars, Eat Alone
Saturday, September 10, 2020
Last Saturday night at The Bird was a delightful evening in celebration of Lo’s debut EP Plan for an Independent Future. Lo is the solo project of Lauren O’Hara (Flossy), who was joined on stage by her full band of well-rounded Perth musicians including Caitlin Norris and Molly Case (Tether), and Emma Gushlow (Mitchell Martin). Despite the rainy weather the night pulled in a lovely sized crowd that was consistent from doors to the final set. Having released the EP in April 2020, Lo’s music has already gained a great following with over 300,000 Spotify streams within three months of its release. The audience could certainly feel the crowd-love in the air this night.
Girl From Mars took to the stage first at 9pm. The popular Perth band looked perfectly balanced up there, with front-girl Synead (Syn) Frances (vocals and guitar) complemented nicely by bass and guitar on either side. Sitting on drums was an unfamiliar face, Jamie Lovell, who used to play with the band when they first started out. Syn made reference to the change up by explaining, “our drummer is currently being paid to play at a wedding, so we have Jamie,” who was a fine addition.
Within their set they moved between some punk rock and indie tunes led by Syn’s country-tinged vocals, staying true to the sound that we know from them. They played some original tracks such as Sad Songs and Franking Credits to close up a varied and entertaining set. Some were unsure whether they were at a gig or comedy lounge with the humour and charisma they brought to the stage.
Eat Alone brought some extra charm to the night in a completely different way. The band, made up of three, brought their turtlenecks, mumbled tones and long intros to the evening. After opening the set, the lead vocalist admitted, “Well that one went alright. We’re sort of out of practice.” After briefly touching base with us they played a selection of their own tracks. Musically full of extra touches, Eat Alone built tunes around organic and produced sounds from organ-like keys to echo effects. These guys had a really cool image, particularly with them seeming largely unmoved judging by their facial expressions, although the guitarist had a really quirky hip-bop which was fun to watch.
Lo’s set was a dream-pop sensation. Starting off with the first track on the EP, It’s All on You, which was a pleasant introduction to her soothing voice and subtle instrumentation. Having previously spoken out about the EP she had a little to say about the collection of tracks in saying, “it touches on self-loathing desire and desperation while painfully trying to remain hopeful.” She had expressed her emotionally readiness to write about things like “love, desire and pain,” and how she had reached a point in her life where she could write about her experiences without a sense of emptiness. Her lyrics in this track were a nice reminder of her outlook towards music, summed up best with lines like “The way you move when you graze against my skin/ It’s all on you and the feeling you give.”
Dressed in a matching pant-suit which she specified she’d bought especially for the night, Lo gave a warm thanks for everyone that came to support the first full-band live show after the first couple of songs. As they played their way through the EP, a few tracks stood out. Floating was huge, with stretched out vocals in the chorus and instrumentation that built momentum as it grew. There was something almost angelic within the performance of this one; and The Dream which was another easy listen full of introspective lyrics, and a sound that partially mimicked her words.
Lo broke up the set a little by playing a Nothing But Thieves cover by herself, and although without the band she still managed to create a powerful sound emphasised by a double voice effect to bring the song a little something more. This performance of Plan for an Independent Future, and accompanying tracks, was a huge step forward in Lo’s journey as a musician and sets a great expectation for what’s to come next.
Photos by Talia Ferguson