The Paper Kites, Patrick James, The Phoncurves @ Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane (20/07/2012)
Friday 20th July, 2012 is the last show of The Paper Kites’ Heavy Rein tour. The show is sold out, the line outside stretching the whole block.
Inside, there is a relaxed atmosphere. There’s a bustle of voices, clinking glasses and lamps and candles lighting the room. The Phoncurves provide music to start the night. The female duo are a quirky pair. They are soft and melodic, with sweet voices humming ‘do’s’ and ‘ahh’s’ as the crowd fills the room.
Patrick James and his band have a similar folk/acoustic sound to The Paper Kites. Their set is completed with three part harmonies, a beret and a banjo. The band is all males, which works especially well in their third song Stay where they sing in unison, finishing the song with a line from Bon Iver’s For Emma. In Shine they invite Christina Lacy from The Paper Kites up to sing a duo with Patrick.
The Paper Kites have filled the club with a crowd by the time they enter. They start their set with the familiar strums of their track Featherstone. In the quieter moments, you can hear the crowd singing along to their reminiscent lyrics. Frontman Sam Bentley has a certain unique and beautiful quality in his voice. Bar a few songs, their set is almost completely new material – songs from their upcoming EP Young North. Though the crowd does not know the new songs, they are full attention to the group as they perform. Their songs are like lullabies, each as captivating as the one before. A stand-out track was a new song that Sam explained was about his Grandpa Joe who built a house for his wife. The song explores the feelings of living in that house alone after her passing, and is performed with honest emotion. The interaction with the crowd is courteous. At one stage, Sam orders a beer from the bar as he stands on the stage. The beer is passed forward until it reaches him and the crowd breaks out in applause. When the band perform Bloom, Alhambra falls silent. The song is romantic and delicate and full of love. His voice is ambient and echoes across the crowd, as they stand still, their eyes fixed forward and captured in the music. The woman next to me who walked down the isle to the song smiles in excitement. The next song, Paint, is brilliant. Written about Sam writing on the roof with invisible paint in a previous relationship, it tells tales about moving on, but the reminders left of those before. The encore is a cover of Feist’s Comfort Me.
The whole night feels magical. With such wonder, The Paper Kites performance is truly fairytale material.