Live review: Homecoming | BBQ Bazaar | Saturday 26 September 2020

There was a moment on Saturday night; a memorable snapshot as it were; as trippy rockers Peach Fur and guest performer Saint Lane commanded every eye in the 300 person capacity crowd in the industrial tin shed that is the BBQ Bazaar, unexpectedly bringing together genres and fans, delivering what seemed a coming of age in the evolution of Gold Coast music. It appeared seamless, as if the musicians had been playing together as one act since inception, and responsibly seated crowd all came as close as they lawfully could to jumping up on their seats and screaming their support. It was at that moment that an observer might have reflected that like diamonds forming from coal under pressure, so locked down Gold Coast musicians are about to enter a season primed for some of their best ever performances. And the Gold Coast live music punter will be the winner. Saturday night was a perfect example of those diamonds.

Homecoming sported an epic lineup throughout the day courtesy of the experienced curation of Jariah and Tyson of Tiny Minds Agency. For the bargain ticket price of between $25 and $35, three hundred fans filled the 1000 person capacity venue to see bands and artists play from just after midday. Paper Round, Miss Lucy, Citrus Daze and EchoWave opened serve for the day and this reviewer joined the proceedings for Pure Milk as the afternoon drew to a close.

Sandalled Pure Milk frontman Lewis Nitschinsk was at his enigmatic and eccentric best, gallivanting across the stage and preaching his gospel of ‘Self Improvement’ and ‘Better Homes and Garden Anxiety’. Pure Milk are musically talented and heaps of fun for the indie rock and pop funksters out there.

Two serves of delicious Gyoza dumplings and Hungarian langos later, DENNIS and her catchy pop sensibilities took to the stage. Olivia Dennis is a confident talent, well worthy of her 2020 Gold Coast Music Prize acknowledgement earlier this year. The bass and drums three-piece was minimalistic enabling DENNIS’ vocals to feature, as she danced for everyone in the room (who reluctantly remained shaking their seats to the ear-wormy rhythms).

Saint Lane is a picture of your entertaining, storytelling, snappily dressed uncle. You couldn’t help but be drawn to his charisma, off stage as he chatted with fans and on stage as he relayed stories of catching Keith Urban’s attention, and attracting the insta blue tick and learning the entitlements it affords him, amongst other hip anecdotes. It was overheard after the set that the next natural incarnation of our Saint Lane is a live band, instead of a track, to accompany his poetry and prose.

Flanked by her guitar clad champions, the taller her dashing husband we are told, San Mei again brought her A game to the Homecoming. There’s no doubt her 2019 and 2020 has prepared her for the next steps as an emerging Australia act. The crowd built to its maximum capacity in the main auditorium as her striking vocals cut through the driving rock. There’s no doubt many ticket holders were there primarily for San Mei’s performance. Talented performer in his own right Michael McCartney played drums on stage, bringing his studio session experience to the stage for the band.

Peach Fur closed out the night with an epic set. The horn section was a master stroke and added an expected dimension. The aforementioned guest performance with Saint Lane was an exceptional genre mixup. Frankie Valli and his Four Seasons were channeled and the crowd lifted the roof with their singalong prowess (all while seated) reassuring the Peach Fur boys that it was indeed quite alright to let them be loved. The Doors got a spin in the encore, closing out as spectacular a set as you could expect, considering the COVID constraints, diligently monitored by security and bar staff throughout the evening.

Kudos must go to the Tiny Minds team for their impressive curation of a great night of Gold Coast music, and to BBQ Bazaar owner Michael Salay for his perseverance during these difficult COVID-Safe times. The lifting of venue capacity from 300 to 450 for BBQ Bazaar is good first step critical to the needed restoration of live music scene activity on the southern Gold Coast. With sold-out events like Homecoming the appetite will be whet for more and there’s at least 300 fans who can’t wait for the next opportunity.

IMAGES (C) Satiu Photography

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