Who: Charlie Mayfair
Where: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
When: Sunday 10 June, 2012
With the winter wind piercing my layers, I was more than happy to bunk up in the almost-too-warm-for-comfort Black Bear Lodge on Sunday night to catch Brisbane indie pop band Charlie Mayfair. The sold-out venue was abuzz with music lovers genuinely keen to hear the band perform as part of their Fall in Time EP tour.
Photo by Markus Ravik
With red wine in hand, I made a beeline for front and centre. I was greeted by the sounds of support act, Little Casino. Their final tune really got the crowd bopping, unexpectedly shifting from 60’s folk to a full on rock out. Certainly a grand introduction for the main act.
Soon after, the whimsical Charlie Mayfair took to the stage. They opened with Blue Water; a beautifully haunting song from their new EP. The angelic lead vocals paired with the tribal-esque drumming would have worked well to the backdrop of a misty forest from a time gone by. I especially enjoyed the clapping break in this one.
A few tunes in, the female vocals were swapped to guitarist Dave Di Marco’s for their track Stone. It was a pleasant contrast to hear such a beautiful and complex male voice. The crowd hushed as the quiet melody lured them closer. This was the highlight of the set for me and the crowd gave an eager applause.
Briefly taking things up just a notch, If I Fell Down was next on the cards. Being one of the more classic Charlie Mayfair tunes, the audience knew the words and happily sang along. Not to be one for too much fanfare, lead vocalist Hannah Shepherd introduced the next song as one that was special to the band. This track was written about an ill friend who benefitted from the therapeutic elements of music. The progression towards the end of this track literally gave me goose bumps.
Following this, Charlie Mayfair covered Active Child’s Hanging On. Although a gorgeous song, this to me was the lull of the evening. Nevertheless, it was quickly saved by their original single Waste Me, with its memorable melody and lively pace. It got the crowd excited again. They managed to keep this momentum to the final song by inviting an enthusiastic, horn-playing friend to contribute. It was a pity the horn was largely drowned out by the other instruments.
Having left the stage, the crowd urged for an encore; of which Charlie Mayfair effortlessly obliged.
The band chose to perform a delicate, acoustic tune without microphones. By this time, people to the back of the venue were preoccupied chatting and drinking, so the intimacy of this piece was lost at first. After many ‘shhhs’, eventually the crowd complied, and Charlie Mayfair were thanked with harmonious, in-time clapping.
Charlie Mayfair undoubtedly offered a very polished and professional performance. They’ve certainly managed to generate a supportive and enthusiastic local fan-base (even if I did notice some ‘band mums’ in the crowd). I’m excited to see what the future holds.
P.S. If you’re lucky, Charlie Mayfair may still have some limited edition Fall in Titme EPs available. The band inadvertently briefed the album artwork incorrectly, resulting in the rather evocative outcome.
Eleanor Price - AAA Backstage