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Live Review: The Paper Kites, Patrick James @ Woolly Mammoth, 31.10.15

Melbourne spouts some wondrous things for our nation, but none more delicious than the electric drenched indie-folk outfit The Paper Kites who have been soaring around the country for their sophomore celebrations. ‘twelvefour’ brings a collection of quiet melancholy to soothe the soul, but it’s not until they’re lifted from a record and radiate in a live space that one can truly understand the intricate magic that has gone into their work.

But before flying our kites, Brisbane were treated to the folk-rock stylings of the underdog Patrick James. Swinging tracks off his debut LP, he combined catchy guitar riffs with some powerful vocals that really captured all things good about a singer/songwriter. Patrick James is just one of those talents that makes everything seem so easy, as the strings under his fingers and the words in his brain just harmonise together so beautifully. Tracks like Bugs and California Song were a couple of crowd favourites, but there’s no denying James’ soared in his acoustic ballad Kings and Queens. Leave him alone with a piano, and let the magic happen. Even in the most vulnerable of moments he cannot be faltered, a formidable talent that cannot be shaken. He looks just so at home on that stage, and quite frankly, we wouldn’t want him anywhere else.


A light display behind five fine musicians lit up Brisbane for an hour of incredible harmonies, powerful ballads and some indie-rock outs. A set list made up of something old, something new, something borrowed and something freshly brewed, they covered a stellar collection to impress new comers and satisfy long time fans.

Turning it up a notch, the band steered away from their light folk harmonies to a solo saturated electric guitar fest with fretboard workouts taking the floor. Revelator Eyes and Electric Indigo were a couple of these tracks that packed a dance worthy treat. These instrumentals really show how much the band has embraced their electric infused folk, missing no chance to lap up an electric guitar solo and power through some climatic instrumental moments. They’re known for bringing their magic in quiet folk harmonies, but they certainly don’t shy away from bringing the feels through powerful musicianship.

Neon Crimson and Turns Within Me, Turns Without Me lulled us into those delicate moments that really exemplifies the whole ‘less is more’ ideal that has become so apparent over the crew’s career. A layered guitar backdrop sets up a beautifully constructed feels fest, built on brooding lyricism and some delicate harmonies.


As the kites packed themselves away, it was the demanding hollar of a stubborn crowd that lured them back out into the limelight. The tired yet passionate Brisbane crowed weren’t quite done with the band as they called them back for just one more song. Featherstone took the band back to their roots as those few dedicated fans who remained sung their lungs out. Brisbane crowds are a passionate bunch, and it’s always just so gosh darn lovely to see a fans/band bond like that.

The Paper Kites have an impeccable talent for layering their five musical minds into one song. They create such a tight spectacle that is a treat for any ear, but watching the band come together and radiate their talent into your ears is the only real way to truly appreciate their talent. Listening to the band deconstruct their songs gives you that chance to absorb all they have to offer, and what they’ve got will blow you away.