The beer garden area of St. Kilda’s Pure Pop Records was full on Saturday arvo; they closed the doors to the venue because it had reached full capacity. It wasn’t a bad start to Paper-Deer’s first ever gig!
Alexander Gow of folk-pop band Oh Mercy opened the event with a solo acoustic set. He played mostly songs from Oh Mercy’s latest album, Great Barrier Grief, including Keith Street, Confessions, On The Run and stand out Blue Lagoon. As anyone who has heard Oh Mercy would know, their songs are easy to listen to and often lullaby-esque. Gow’s soothing, soft voice, pensive expression and simple but catchy melodies rendered his performance somewhat captivating. His stage banter was slightly left-of-centre, however.
While I found him entertaining, I would understand how others might have thought he was a tad stand-offish. During one song, a guy was about to walk past the stage but then stopped suddenly when he saw that a photographer was there filming Gow, causing him to stop playing and let out a chuckle before continuing the song. After playing half of the first verse of another song, he stopped and said, “Sorry, I don’t want to play that song, but you can imagine how it would go.” He also asked the audience to remind him of the first words of Keith Street because he couldn’t remember them, and then paused at the line, “My dog’s on fire,” to tell us about how his dog had been sick recently. It wasn’t the most professional performance but in such a laid-back and intimate environment, Gow’s casualness was welcomed by many members of the audience.
Read my the rest of my review here at Paper-Deer!