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Saturday, July 9 Amplifier Bar
They might be barely 20-years of age but Sydney trio, Papa vs Pretty proved they are a force to be reckoned with live, after playing a show at Amplifier Bar on Saturday night.
The venue was packed by the time vocalist/guitarist Thomas Rawle and his band mates Angus Gardiner and Tom Myers hit the stage close to 11pm. This show was part of a full national tour on the back of their debut album, United in Isolation, which has seen the youngsters being somewhat over-hyped with a feature album on Triple J and the like.
Opening with Life’s Got A Hold On Me followed by Look For Me both off their debut, from the opening guitar riff it was apparent just how rhythmically confident and cohesive they actually are. But they are in fact seasoned veterans already with a few EPs under their belt and previous national tour supports with the likes of Paul Dempsey and Howling Bells; they’ve had quite some time to hone their big sound.
The hooky title track off their last EP, Heavy Harm was dropped early along with recent big single, One Of The Animals. Rawle’s voice never faltered, conveying musical maturity far beyond his years.
Mid-set Rawle humbly introduced, I Still Believe In Us off the Heavy Harm EP saying, “I don’t know if anyone will have it” and we were treated to a quiet moment in the set, where he allowed his voice to shine free of the band’s full throttle intensity.
Bitter Pill, Darkest Way and new single, Honey upped the energy again and I Felt Nothing began with just vocals and guitar and thoughts that while the songs on record don’t resonate instantly, they’re certainly potent in the live setting.
And in just over an hour, Papa vs Pretty had churned out the bulk of their debut album, closing with the more emotional, You Are Not In Love Anymore, with Rawle lamenting it was the last song on the album as well as the end of the whole album tour.
[As published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 112, 14.07.11]