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Live Review: Majella w/ Blind Girls & Nice Biscuit @ The Foundry


The noise was deafening as Blind Girls warmed up from behind a flimsy black curtain. Their aggressive sound made for an assault on the senses, clashing with the Violent Soho track playing over The Foundry’s sound system.
They gave it their all even during the soundcheck, screaming into the microphones and shredding guitars at full volume. It was clear by their look alone that these guys were nothing if not hardcore, standing on stage dressed in head-to-toe black.

As the clock ticked past nine, the crowd was suddenly noticeably denser, filled with punters waiting to see Blind Girls’ follow up to their intense warm-up.
Impressively, the screaming never lost its energy and conviction. The screaming was so aggressive and the guitar so intense, the guitarist started rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet as if entering a trance. They had the rockstar look down to a fine art, nailing their trademark angst-ridden poses and stopping only to let the feedback ring between tracks.
Even between songs the sound was deafening, only adding to the overall vibe of the show.

Next up were 7-piece Nice Biscuit, their impressive instrumental stash leaving them with very little room to move around the tiny stage. A delicate sound check made for an interesting contrast against Blind Girls’ aggressive set, and set the tone for a strong performance. As a shoegaze disco sound enveloped the room, the crowd slipped into a lazy rhythm, the bass and drums soon bringing up the energy. A classy instrumental number opened the set before two girls dressed in colourful 60s-style dresses took centre stage, layering their sweet harmonic vocals over the guitars. Like a jazzed-up Mangelwurzel, the band laid their charming innocence on thick, blending in plenty of edgy, sophisticated rock style and showing off the strength in the girls’ voices.

With four voices, the sound grew thick, each of them bringing something unique to the mix. Mid-performance, the least sober audience members handed up a half-empty can of beer to one of the girls, which she graciously accepted and placed on the stage. The Wah-Wah pedal made for an effortlessly cool final touch as it sent the set spinning into psychedelic oblivion and the crowd dancestors harder than ever, ready for the main act.

Tossing a bottle of lube into the crowd, Majella made sure the party was well and truly underway before the second number.

Majella’s set kicked off with another casual soundcheck, his bassist and producer holding the crowd in suspense with a smooth instrumental track. The Brisbane electronic artist appeared on stage after a relaxed opening number, announcing his arrival with a passionate wail. He started the set strong, pulling out some smooth dance moves and laying down a falsetto to rival Mansionair frontman Jack Froggatt. Tossing a bottle of lube into the crowd, Majella made sure the party was well and truly underway before the second number.

Less than 15 minutes into the set and clearly feeling perfectly confident, the charismatic frontman showed off a few Michael Jackson dance moves to match his high-pitched squeals. Things took a psychedelic turn during the next rhythmic number as they danced along, the electric guitarist looking over at the frontman with an expression of what could only be described as elation. Meanwhile, Majella closed his eyes, transmitting emotion through pained facial expressions as he danced, and it wasn’t long before his soulful vocals and instinctual movements stole the show.

The crowd were almost silent as the set went on, creating air pockets in the moments of quiet scattered throughout each track. All three of them made it look easy, filling every emptiness with effortless performance charisma and soul. Majella’s dance moves were a highlight, outdoing even the most enthusiastic girls in the front row, while his soulful cover of When Doves Cry brought something more emotional and impressively original to the show.

A combination of funky guitar, subtle synth, and dreamy vocals to rival Kevin Parkour had the crowd crying out for more.

Late in the set, an incredibly pure vocal performance in Heaven Sent became an unexpected highlight and a strong lead into their final number. The last song took that energy to another level, Majella picking up the mic stand and twirling it around. A combination of funky guitar, subtle synth, and dreamy vocals to rival Kevin Parkour had the crowd crying out for more, to which the band could only respond, “We can’t play anything else.”

Energetic guitar topped with emotive vocals and smooth synth melodies may be an experiment that can never go wrong, but Majella’s ability to let the music speak for itself without drowning it in stage antics is one hell of an asset. It’s early days, but this looks (and sounds) like the real deal.

Written by Jess Martyn