Nicole Millar @ Jack Rabbit Slim’s
Saturday, June 30, 2018
I’m going to start this write up by saying I love pop. Feed me anything coming out of Sweden (Elliphant, Lykke Li, Tove Lo… ABBA?) and I’ll happily clean the whole house to the easy-listening ‘girl power’ tunes. I felt comfortable objectively assessing Nicole Millar last Saturday – and I was just as excited to. But what started out on a high eventually led to a fairly disappointing representation of the Australian pop industry.
With their annual Winter Street Party underway, the ‘spiked hot chocolate’ and ski Apres lodge set up was making Slim’s look all that more appealing from the stock standard weekend gig as Sophiegrophy took to the stage. Hailing from Melbourne she had a hard gangster vibe going on with zippered pants that reminded me of a younger Azealia Banks. She rapped along to the backing tracks from her new EP Purpularity and had a good amount of attention – girls and boys were getting down! After having to request the volume up over and over she got into her trap track Bag and smoothed it over with her track for couples with Marry Me. Girl got us good.
It was eventually time for Nicole Millar to grace us in her silver sparkling bodysuit and it was impossible not to notice the fact that it was see through. I’m conflicted in mentioning a woman’s attire because what she wears should never detract from the music. In a time where we are understanding the detrimental consequences of objectification I couldn’t help but feel she was doing exactly that. Using her physical appearance and sexual ‘commodities’ to distract us from the fact that she was hardly singing. And she is entitled to that, she does have the right to flaunt what her mother gave her but it wasn’t what I was there to see. I was there to see heart, passion, respect for the art of music. Never before have I heard comments from other punters like “I know lip synching when I see it” and whether that was true or her voice was just so masked by the filters and backing tracks, one thing for sure was that it was undeniably lacking.
As she sang through most of her debut album Excuse Me the mad ponytail swings and dance moves overshadowed any rawness or realness. All My Issues sounded a lot closer to being live in the parts she is meant to sing – but it just doesn’t seem fair that electronic music continues to get the suboptimal respect that it does because of cop outs like this. I think the audience would 9 times out of 10 rather a slightly off tune note here and there than putting on iTunes in a club.
Although I came away from the show with a bad taste in my mouth, I’m still happy to listen to this artist’s music but I wouldn’t waste my time to see her live again, not unless she becomes more A-live.
Words and photos by
with contribution by Leah Cardwell