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ALEX LLOYD @ Freo.Social gets 6/10


Alex Lloyd @ Freo.Social
w/ Hey Major
Saturday, October 19, 2019

6/10

It’s been 20 years since Alex Lloyd made his way up the indie charts with his ARIA Award winning LP Black the Sun. To celebrate this anniversary, he’s been playing the album from beginning to end, including a stopover at Freo.Social last Saturday night.

Canadian duo Hey Major is supporting Lloyd on his lap around the country. An odd combination of keys and drums, there’s no denying this team are talented musicians individually, but together they make dull, middle of the road music. A few people up the front were being supportive and having a wiggle, but it sounded like a worse version of the ever bland Eskimo Joe. Yawn. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the crowd waited in the beer garden until Lloyd came on.

Hey Major

Flanked by a five piece band, including the original keyboardist and drummer, when Alex Lloyd stepped on stage and the opening bars of Melting rang out, the audience started to hum. It’s so funny how songs you haven’t heard for more than a decade can come back to you – every lyric stored away somewhere in the back of your brain. We found ourselves singing along without even realising!

Lloyd’s voice is still as beautiful as ever. Although he did avoid a few of the high notes in some tracks, he was otherwise faultless, maintaining amazing vibrato. Unfortunately, his vox weren’t at the fore for a lot of the songs. It seemed like the sound engineers had never heard of him or listened to his album before, and his set suffered because of it. Rather than the delicate indie pop we know, the sound was heavy and thick – one friend described it as bombastic. It was such a shame on songs like Snow which would have been amazing a bit stripped back.

Playing the album in order, the crowd could anticipate which song would follow the next. It was like popping the CD on your player and listening right through, like we did in 1999. So, when we reached the midpoint of the set and all the hits like My Way Home, the title track and Lucky Star were coming, the crowd certainly experienced euphoric nostalgia for the era Black the Sun bookmarked. This was definitely peak singalong time. Ballad Alien was also a highlight, during which a couple of the members of his band didn’t play and we had the stripped back sound that we needed all night.

Alex Lloyd

Wrapping up the album, the band went on to play a mixed bag of hits. Honestly, the gig could have finished with just the album and we would have been happy, but there were definitely some people there waiting for songs like Amazing and Green. A fan at the front requested I Wish and Lloyd obliged, which was sweet. He has such a warm stage presence. But admittedly, at this point the night was beginning to drag and the encore seemed unnecessary.

While it’s always nice to take a trip down memory lane, the sound and the support act let Alex Lloyd down. That said, his voice is like a warm fuzzy, and the nostalgia made it an enjoyable gig.

SHANNON FOX

Photos by Catherine Maxwell

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