I hesitated at first. Last time I saw them I felt they were talented, had a lot of potential but weren’t quite hitting the right mark. But when I was informed this was an acoustic gig, I was in with a grin.
After last year’s gig I felt a little underwhelmed, I felt the synth-dominated electronica sound, while great for making your song a hit on radio, wasn’t quite translating correctly in their live performance. Georgia Nott’s incredible (and I mean incredible!) voice was lost by the over produced sound and the pair looked a little absent on stage. But all was not lost; the few acoustic versions they rolled out in the middle of their set had me speechless. I hung onto that as I reflected on their performance.
Last night took me back to that feeling. This was Georgia and Caleb Nott in their prime. Their songs come to life when stripped back and played on keyboard or guitar. Last night I could pick up the lyrics properly listening to their music, and they’re beautiful! I couldn’t tell you that this time yesterday.
All of their hit singles translated so well to this style. Every song sounded true and polished. I’m guessing the pair probably wrote them with just a guitar or keyboard before they were produced into the electro- pop sound on their two albums. Perhaps they should have been left that way?
Highlights included a “Doobie Brothers style” take on Recovery, a soft and gentle version of Free and the beautiful ballad rendition of Never Gonna Change. The finale, Heartlines, had shivers running down my spine and tears welling in my eyes.
A cover of Gary Jule’s Mad World was true to the song in every way and just lovely listening, while a take on Empire of the Sun’s wacky upbeat number from 2008 We Are the People, was a creative and refreshing rendition which showed there’s more to that song than one might realise while dancing to it in a pub.
This show also proved that it’s not only Georgia that has a voice, Caleb’s backing vocals were superb and his guitar playing exquisite.
They joked away through the night with a classic Kiwi sense of humour. They explained they laugh at the end of each song because they never quite know how they’re going to end it. Georgia informed us her shaker was a lemon shape – she was offered a banana but thought that might be an inappropriate thing to shake. And the gags about how depressing their songs are when played acoustically were a reoccurring theme throughout the show.
“We’re not sad people, we just sing all the sad songs to get it out of our system so then we’re happy people.” – sounds like a good life philosophy to me, especially when their sad music sounds this good.
Broods – please can you record an acoustic album? The four songs recorded in your Spotify sessions aren’t enough – I want more and I think I’m not alone there.