On a cold winter night in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane-based Hey Geronimo and Pluto Jonze attempted to heat up the Alhambra Lounge with their warm indie pop tunes.
While this was my first ever gig review, it wasn’t my first ever trip down to Alhambra Lounge. I had definitely been there before on a few Saturday nights where the vodka is cheap and the music is somewhere between trashy and the kind of trashy that makes me want to dance after I’ve had a few shots. At first I noticed there were no crowds to push through or indecisive girls staggering between the DJ booth and the smoker’s area. I could in fact see Alhambra in its entirety. It was definitely a lounge on Thursday. The people were there to recline into a beautiful leather couch and take in some of Brisbane’s best independent music scene.
The members of Hey Geronimo strode onto stage and swiftly took their respective positions. This wasn’t their first time in Alhambra. After chatting with the crowd like there wasn’t a stage holding them up, they burst into their set with an upbeat energy that would continue for the rest of their time on stage. It’s that energy which has been making waves in the Australian music scene for well over a year now. It was a performance that could best be described as indie pop at a beach house in the summer.
The vocals were loud, the instruments were plugged in and the timing was solid but the band was soft in movement. Occasionally they would sing into each others microphones or throw each other a smile and the crowd reciprocated by standing still too. I couldn’t tell whether or not this was a deliberate move, but I had no problem with sitting on a bar stool and mouthing along to the lyrics between drinking and chatting amongst the audience. It wasn’t until halfway into their set, as they began Dreamboat Jack, that a crowd began to gravitate toward the stage.
Their latest single, Lazer Gun Show, stood out with its fresh sound and pulsing rhythm. This pop anthem, which is also the title track of their next EP, could easily soundtrack the upcoming summer festivals early next year. Triple J seems to like it too, so expect to hear it on the radio for at least the next few weeks. I’m not a fortune-teller, but it does make you want to dance on the spot.
After Hey Geronimo closed their set with Why Don’t We Do Something, the obvious crowd favorite, they conceded the stage to Pluto Jonze and his Theremin. Jonze was familiar to me because his single Eject, from his album of the same name, has had pretty heavy rotation on Triple J for a while now. He was dressed like he had just stepped out of a ‘thrift shop’ themed garden party and proceeded to pleasantly surprise fans with his unique brand of indie pop. Like Hey Geronimo before him, it’s difficult to describe his eclectic style of music. Each song was unique in its own way but a heavy lo-fi guitar sound, sample board, Jonze’s luscious vocals and trusty Theremin tied each tune together. He effortlessly danced, bobbed and strutted around the stage, managing to get most of the crowd groovin’ to his collection of musical fever dreams. Song titles Plastic Bag in a Hurricane and Speak With Your Feet should clue you in on the aesthetics of his live performance. Jonze’s set ended on a high with his hit single Eject forcing everyone who casually listens to Triple J to belt out the chorus.
Although the team-up tour has hammered out its final show, make sure you catch Hey Geronimo and Pluto Jonze wherever they may pop up next. Until then, check out their official Facebook pages for some sweet tunes.
Pluto Jonze: https://www.facebook.com/plutojonze
Hey Geronimo: https://www.facebook.com/HeyGeronimo