SUPPORT: Lucy Francesca Dron
VENUE: The Princess Theatre
DATE: 19TH JULY 2023
PHOTOGRAPHER: DAYNA GILMORE
REVIEWER: DAYNA GILMORE
Lucy Francesca Dron
Lucy Francesca Dron was a delightful opening choice for Slowdive’s Brisbane show. I first discovered Lucy singing at Rics Bar on a random night by chance, in 2019 or around that time. I was an immediate fan…. Her voice is unmatched. I would be bold enough to label her Australia’s call to Amy Winehouse mixed with an air of Interpol. Having seen Lucy perform various times in Brisbane over the last several years – each time being better than the last – which is insane to grasp when her voice on quiet Wednesday night was so incredibly rich and seasoned for someone so young.
I felt an immense sense of pride watching her, her brother and the rest of the ensemble play a venue like the princess theatre – to a type of audience in which her music deserves to be heard. Not only an incredibly rich vocalist – but hugely talented guitarist, Lucy’s ability to play with such natural stamina and charisma brings her above the rest, an undoubtable star.
Having been received well by those anticipating Slowdive, it was a special moment to watch her talent shine to such a large crowd on such a huge show. Lucy Francesca Dron will only go upwards from here – mark my words!
The buzz in the room was gentle, as UK shoegaze icons Slowdive drifted onto the Princess Theatre stage. Audience members were instantly enamoured as the delicate musings of ‘Slomo’ began to fill up the room, instantly lulling us into a collective hush. The energy was vibrant – the pulsing drive that vocalist Rachel’s synth was keeping held the flow moving and into ‘Slowdive’ itself. The band had an almost general timidness in their body language and their reserved commentary – but musically, their strength and togetherness shines. Playing together for about 35 years with a 20-year break in-between…Slowdive are a band of shoegaze royalty and being close enough to see Rachel’s scarf floating through the air as it caught the breeze was as magical as a Stevie Nicks floating garment- in – the – wind moment.
Being one of those rare bands who release new music as iconic as their debut, Slowdive have upheld their place in the dream pop realm and are worthy of it.
The purple haze that blanketed their stage layout was a mesmerizing choice, the lilacs and whites pierced the negative space around their performance perfectly and complimented the heavenly melodies that were floating out of the speakers. To be able to hold the audience’s captivation for the full hour, with the simplicity of solely playing and being, is a very special
ability. It was one of those rare shows where I didn’t feel like the whole performance was being filmed and directly uploaded to an Instagram story, but rather fully experienced. I noticed many crowd members with their eyes closed as they swayed arm in arm with loved ones, parents, friends. The diversity in the crowd was expected, a band as established as Slowdive have the reach of those around in 1991 for their first EP release, through to gen Z’s micro beanies.
Meshing a lot of New + Old, Slowdives discography transcends time as well as perfectly stopping it still. My thoughts drifted away as a kind security guard allowed me to remain as close to the stage as possible. My moon eyes continued to well as tracks like ‘Alison’ and ‘When the Sun Hits’ began to play. I’m rarely fully transported when I’m out in the ‘real world’ – racing thoughts and all but hugging my knees to my chest as I had the best seat in the house to one of the best shoegaze bands our world has to offer, melted away any nagging thought. It felt for a moment that it was Slowdive’s world, and we were the only people on it. If the trajectory of planet earth is slightly out of whack, it’s because Slowdive put a spell on time.
With their adoring crowd on their side and a 3 song encore; ‘Dagger’ was my ‘breaking point’ as the tears that had been teasing their way around my eyeballs finally released. Rachels ethereal voice was warm and all-encompassing as it haunted me. The delicate instrumentation and the overall sonic textures were engulfing, like a reverb heavy dream sequence…a warm bed with fresh sheets and no nagging alarm clock demanding your assertiveness. If I could put down a time where I had lost all sense of dread – all sense of responsibility, it would be this show. I’m walking away with a post shoegaze glow and protecting it with my life. This night will have to be pried out of my brain before I forget it anytime soon.