Spacey Jane @ Indi Bar
w/ Superego, Siobhan Cotchin
Friday, December 20, 2019
Straight off the back of their third sold out Australian tour this year, indie pop quartet Spacey Jane brought it back to Perth with an End of Tour Extravaganza show at the Indian Ocean Beach Hotel (aka the Indi Bar) last Friday night. Showcasing some of the best and most diverse offerings that local music in Perth has to offer, as well as their own infectious brand of guitar-driven indie hits that have propelled the band so far in such little time, the night was a reflection of what Perth music is all about, and just where it can go.
Opening the night was 19-year-old singer-songwriter Siobhan Cotchin. It was a small and quiet crowd at the Indi Bar but Cotchin ensured they were entertained with her warm stage presence and smooth vocal melodies that brought a lively and intimate atmosphere to the night. Standing onstage with a sparkly red telecaster and just enough of a mellow country twang in her voice, you could be forgiven thinking it was 2005 and you’d just stepped into a bar in Nashville. Her set also included a stripped-back cover of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, which was immeasurably more enjoyable than the Taylor Swift original. Cotchin is a talented storyteller and musician whose performance blends well-crafted folk ballads with an intimate honesty and vitality that can be seen in both her lyricism and onstage presence. She is Perth’s Missy Higgins and definitely one to watch in the coming years.
The night went from one stalwart of the Perth music scene to the next with hip hop group Superego. Formerly known as POW! Negro, the band has become something of an underground legend and the by the time lead singer/MC Nelson Mondlane took to the mic, the bar was rapidly reaching capacity. Known for his frantic and captivating onstage performances, Nelson moves, jumps, leaps and dances across the stage with a presence that is mesmerising and commands your attention. There is something almost violently transgressive about watching someone so moved by music, you can see it running through their veins. With a haunting saxophone, distorted feedback guitar and recorded sound samples accompanying Nelson’s piercing lyrics, Superego’s empowering energy inevitably had the room transfixed. Without doubt, they are one of the best live groups in Perth right now.
It was difficult to move or even breathe in the Indi Bar by the time Spacey Jane came out onstage at 10:30pm. It has been a big year for the local Perth group, they’ve completed five Australian tours, scored a Triple J Unearthed Artist of the Year nomination, a WAM Award for Most Popular Live Act, are booked to play Laneway Festival across the country this February and have just signed a global record deal with AWAL where they’ll be alongside labelmates like Angie McMahon, Rex Orange County and Nick Cave. It’s funny to think that just over 12 months ago, this group were yet to sell out a show. But as they immediately launched into the opening riff of Thrills to the explosive and lively crowd, it was easy to understand why this band are where they are today.
The audience was with them from the get-go as Spacey Jane set into an hour long show of their unmistakable brand of smooth, breezy, infectiously catchy melodies and singalong vocals. 2018 releases Neoprene and the mellow, openhearted Sawteeth were notable crowd favourites. The set also included newer releases such as Hottest 100 contender Good For You, their latest single Head Cold, and a currently unreleased song which the band seem to be calling Love Me Like I Haven’t Changed. Lead singer Caleb’s vocals were complemented by a crowd who ecstatically recited back every lyric with such vigour that at times they threatened to take over the show entirely. Made up of both new and old converts to the Spacey bandwagon, the night was a testament to the extremely loyal family of fans that the band has built up over the past three years. The group have an enchanting live energy that is fast-paced and fun. The four perform with a relaxed and lively ease that matched the buzzing, eager enthusiasm of their fans.
Spacey Jane’s end of tour gig was a reflection of the remarkable year that the band has had as well as a celebration of the local music scene where they have spent the past three years cutting their teeth. Concluding their 12-song set with an encore that featured a cover of Car Seat Headrest’s Fill in the Blank, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to imagine the band aspiring for the same kind of indie rock fame as the renowned American group. For Perth music’s newest graduates, the future looks promising.