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Jeffrey Lewis, Horse Party, Superglu, PollyPreacher The Lakeside Theatre, 04/12/2015

I appear to be a Jeffrey Lewis convert. I’ve never really given his music the attention it apparently deserves, despite him being popular amongst many friends I share tastes with and clearly that was an oversight. Along with his band, Los Bolts, Jeffrey took the audience on a ride through his mind over the space of an hour, performing personal tracks which couldn’t help but bring a smile to my face. The backing vocals were like pure joy bouncing off of my ear drums, making songs which took on themes including bad trips and crackhead neighbors into happy sounding tunes. One of the highlights of the set came when Jeffrey showed off one of his short animated films, made up of a series of hand drawn slides soundtracked by the band. There’s something incredibly sweet and honest about not just his music but his whole persona on stage. This persona appears to have swept over the audience because not a soul in the Lakeside Theatre didn’t have a grin on their face. 

Support on the night was almost as important as Jeffrey himself; three local bands who, while not musically the same, all brought something to the table. PollyPreacher opened the show with a fairly minimal set, calm guitar parts layered with Ashley’s unique vocal style, a nice slice of calm before the rest of the lineup built the energy up. I do think, especially given the theatre setting, that the audience could have been a bit quieter – PollyPreacher is certainly more on the quiet side of music and the sound of people was at times louder than the sound from the stage. That aside, her music was certainly impressive, especially with regards to vocals; an incredible range while the guitar parts, while minimal, kept it rolling along.

Next up came Superglu who certainly got people’s energy flowing – the new layout at the Lakeside theatre providing a dance floor for people to get a bit closer, something I’d thought was lacking at previous gigs where everyone sat down and watched, the band spread out across the stage. Working through a set of lovely tracks, the good sound of the Lakeside really benefited the contrast between vocals, everyone in tune as they flew through songs old and new.

With pulses flowing, Horse Party took up their slot as the penultimate act of the evening, although for some reason everyone had sat back down?! Though it didn’t take long before some energetic (drunk?) dancing from Superglu led the way and people came back down, Horse Party’s energetic drumming and luscious vocals leading the way throughout. This was my first time seeing Horse Party, despite hearing good things, but I was quickly won over; the guitarist thrashing around throughout, the energy they shared with the crowd and those vocals – when it comes to vocal performance, they’re one of the best in the business.

Overall, a seriously strong lineup in a great sounding venue. It’s good to see the Lakeside trying new things in terms of setup and I had a much better experience than last time I visited when I sat throughout. Great stuff!

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