Audience: 18 and over
59 Gardens Point Road, Brisbane
QLD, 4000, Australia.
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Tough act to follow: ‘Kashmir’ at high volume over the PA. Tougher act to open for (or so I thought): Kasabian, England’s premier lout-rock purveyors of the moment. Unlikely a choice for opening act though they are, Little Red are met with a level of enthusiasm that seems to surprise even them. The strong initial reception can’t just be put down to folks confusing them with the headliner. “Whoareya, whoareya?!” chants a British contingent up front, to which lead singer Dominic Byrne simply repeats the band’s name.
The Riverstage isn’t full tonight. Attendance would push 3000 at its peak, and perhaps half of that number arrive early to witness the support act. Little Red begin boldly with a couple numbers from their 2008 debut Listen To Little Red – ‘Stare In Love’ and ‘Witchdoctor’ – before debuting unreleased material, and thus losing some crowd interest. Like every Little Red song, the new stuff marries swinging, danceable rhythms to easily-mimicked vocal melodies. This songwriting strategy has served them well, and looks like it’ll continue too. New single ‘Rock It’ is the set’s apex, and most in attendance seem already familiar with its lackadaisical chorus.
A trio of previous singles - ‘Coca Cola’, ‘She’s Not The Only One’ and ‘It’s Alright’ – close out the 35-minute set, which squeezes in a dozen songs. Byrne’s offhand comment when pimping merch - “We’ve undercut Kasabian on the pricing, and we play for pretty cheap, so if you’re after a band to play at your wedding...” – inadvertently triggers a twinge of cynicism that a Melbourne band is supporting an international act at a Brisbane venue. But since most here are happy to watch something familiar, accessible and inoffensive, Little Red fit the bill perfectly.
by Andrew McMillen