Tucked around the corner from the big clubs and dark dance arenas of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley lies Black Bear Lodge, a quaint drinking hole with a warm atmosphere. Contrary to its reputation as the hub for local live indie acts, this particular evening would see Black Bear setting the scene for Melbourne electronic duo Willow Beats and similarly flavoured support acts.
cln warmed the stage, the support slot serving as one of his first few gigs. He toyed with his home-brewed bundle of songs and sounds confidently enough for someone thrust so recently onto a path of success, but he will mature as quickly as his following is growing.
As cln‘s set closed, seasoned local Tincture took the stage, just as the crowd numbers began to swell. Performing solo, he wielded guitar, microphone, and APC40 commandingly through his set. Mashing and twisting away at his controller, the audience were treated to some very strange and interesting assortments of musical experimentation.
Soon enough, the room was filled wall-to-wall with Willow Beats worshippers, donning floral headdresses and painted marks on their faces, stylistic of the duo themselves. The moment Narayana Johnson and Kalyani Ellis took to the stage, their experience was revealed in their confidence. With several years as Willow Beats behind them, the pair had more than enough material to choose from to assemble their set of wonky, mystical sounds.
Not neglecting their dubstep origins, a large portion of the set was instrumental and dance-focused, leaving Kalyani to serve as prop for much of the performance. Any fans expecting an entire show consisting of her ethereal vocals would have be sorely disappointed, but for most people, it provided an opportunity to take their eyes off the stage for a while, and commit to cutting shapes on a congested, spirited dancefloor.
Recent crowd favourites thrown in the mix, including their newest single ‘Merewif,’ before the show wrapped up, leaving you with a stimulating and intriguing experience. Primed with craft beer and scotch, everybody left satisfied, spilling out into the valley to fulfil their Friday nights.