The Paper Kites at Forum Theatre, Melbourne
While the rest of Melbourne was caught in the garrulous sounds of AFL Grand Final fever, and the strained octaves of football anthems seemed to stretch around every corner like the insalubrious tentacles of some bottom-feeding ocean-dweller, the iconic Forum Theatre offered its own sanctuary of sorts with Melbourne’s The Paper Kites taking to the stage.
Consisting of Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy on vocals, Dave Powys on lead guitar, Josh Bentley on drums and Sam Rasmussen on bass, The Paper Kites had come here partly to entertain the crowd and partly to rehearse for their upcoming 40-date world tour. Indie folk in makeup, it was clear from the very first number, Malleable Beings, that the band would not stray too far from the slow and jangly pace that allowed Bentley’s voice to swim happily throughout. By the third song, Living Colour, Bentley did make way for Lacy to mesmerise the crowd with her rising voice, which was well accompanied by the Vanguard Strings. However it was Bloom, the band’s best-known song, that got the biggest reaction from the punters with Rasmussen bending into the microphone and asking over and over “Can I be close to you?”
The rest of the show sounded much the same, with soft acoustic songs occasionally broken up with rift-driven numbers by Powys, notably In Reverie. Yet judging by the healthy rounds of applause continuing throughout the evening, the similarities in songs did not seem to bother the audience too much. The band closed with a Leslie Feist cover, which had every musician – including the members of Georgia Fair – up on stage. One negative from the night was the sound on some of the more vocally driven tracks, with both Bentley and Lacy occasionally coming across muffled.
Back outside, with the concert over, a bunch of supporters waved gold and brown scarves while yelling “Go Hawks!”, and just like that The Paper Kites seemed a long way away – as if they had played last year, or had been looping on a stereo in the background. But perhaps that is the best way to describe the one-and-a-half hours of their set, their half-floating snippets of lyrics and sounds still moving about in all the leavers’ heads, those snippets – all of them somewhat indistinguishable from the rest – dreamy and warm nevertheless.
For further information and future events visit The Paper Kites’ website here.
Watch the video for Bloom here: