Sunday, June 22, 2008

live: the motifs + the crayon fields

It was such a glorious winter's afternoon at the Powerhouse today - beautiful warm sunshine, a cool breeze from the Brisbane River, lemon lime and bitters and, best of all, a free show by two of Melbourne's loveliest pop outfits, The Motifs and The Crayon Fields.

the motifs

I was very keen to see The Motifs play, having listened to and fallen in love with their WeePOP! 3" earlier this year. Everything about their set seemed so unassuming, so easy and so perfect. Alexis's vocals were a pleasure to hear live - my friend summed it up perfectly when she said they sounded like Tracyanne Campbell's vocals on the first Camera Obscura album. It's so true! There's also that hint of The Softies when I hear some of the bittersweet songs - it's like looking out through a rainy window and capturing the darkened beauty of the grey skies. With their short, winsome pop songs filled with handclaps, xylophone, cute casios and extra-cute harmonies, I definitely fell in love.

alexis from the motifs

may from the motifs

While I was there, I picked up a copy of their latest album, "Cross Paths", on beautiful clear vinyl. If you have an opportunity, make sure you pick up one of these - the brown paper album cover, complete with hand painted artwork and the prettiest kitten drawings, will win you over in no time.

the crayon fields

Meanwhile, The Crayon Fields played dreamy sixties inspired pop, which seemed to declare their love of The Zombies very proudly. And why not? It was perfect lazy Sunday afternoon material - drifting away with those jangling guitars, shuffling drums and shoegaze vocals. It's almost haunting, listening to their songs after the show, late at night - it felt wistful live this afternoon, but tonight there's a shadow over their songs. It would be very easy to wrap oneself in Crayon Fields songs and let the hours pass away without worry.

Might I say, too, that it is an utter shame more pop bands don't get to play at The Powerhouse - the Turbine Hall is a wonderful setting for Sunday afternoon shows, and I would love to see the space utilised by more pop bands rather than just jazz etc. all the time.

5 comments:

Carlos said...

Ohhhhh, I'm so so jealous. I'd love to see the Motifs live. But I think It's quite impossible living in the antipodes anyway..

Matt said...

awwww, youre so lucky, alex! i looooove the motifs! :)

hkoutsider said...

i wish they come to london!!

brogues said...

I just bought The Crayon Fields' cd in Monorail (Glasgow) and love it. I couldn't figure out how I'd come to hear about them and then I remembered this post! Cheers for the tip ... it's very pretty! Now for some Motifs...

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