The Staves and Lucius @ Chevron Festival Gardens
Thursday, February 22, 2018
This evening at the Festival Gardens was billed as a night of sparkling eclecticism in harmony and that is what the two very different acts on offer delivered. One would be more dynamic, the other more pure, but both impressed with their vocal craft.
Brooklyn five-piece Lucius started proceedings with what would be a striking performance both sonically and visually. The band’s two front women have a strong enough pedigree that they have spent the past 12 months as back up singers for Roger Waters. When fronting their own band, their kooky personalities comes to the fore with Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig mirroring each other in haircut and outfit as they faced each around the one microphone throughout the performance.
Amidst the cavernous space of the Festival Gardens, Lucius were able to strip things back to it’s core with haunting voices and delicate arrangements that created an intimate and heartfelt performance. Being in Perth, the group comfortably launched into their bare, yet enthralling version of Eventually by Tame Impala as well as a driving originals like the swelling Tempest. With black capes, handclaps, exquisite vocals and clever melodies that would swim in your head for days, there was so much to like about Lucius.
Continuing with the theme of pristine harmonies was English folk band The Staves. The Watford born sisters of Jessica, Camilla and Emily Staveley-Taylor take a fairly traditional approach to folk tunes with the majority drawing on classic British folk with only a hint of modern Americana. With a number of keyboards and stringed instruments at their disposal, the sisters added layered flourishes amongst their spacious tunes to deliver different a ambience throughout.
The night’s opener wasn’t the only band to have a famous connection, with The Staves having formed a strong connection with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon. Their delicately plucked tunes fit in well with the work of the aforementioned mentor, and none more-so than the concise Let Me Down. The Staves can’t be accused of writing happy songs, so the siblings’ dry banter kept the mood light with, “So Tim Tams… this could be a problem for us,” being one of the most memorable.
The tunes were tender with a lithe touch so as to show of the impeccable harmonies that come from sharing the same genes. As they gathered around the one microphone to end with an a cappella version of Wisely & Slow, The Staves commanded attention without the need for extraneous gimmicks.
Photos by Cam Campbell