“It’s my first time in Australia and I think I like it.” A few sweet words and she had us hooked. The crowd, that is… and it’s Lorde we loved.
I first realised I had a girl crush on this underage, quirky, New Zealand beauty named Ella Yelich O’Connor (aka Lorde) when her catchy tune ‘Royals’ floated out from my car radio. It’s the kind of song you can listen to over and over… and over… and continue to fall in love with it a little bit more every time. Plus, it’s pretty fun to sing along to on loud when nobody’s watching.
Lorde’s debut EP The Love Club was released late last year, but went unnoticed in the deep sea of the Internet for some time. Once ‘Royals’ hit the Aussie frequency, I guess I wasn’t the only one who took notice since the $10-a-pop gig at The Worker’s Club sold out in little time. Suffice to say, I was excited to hear her live, so off I went to cosy up in Fitzroy on a cold, rainy Friday night.
Watching from the back of a full-house, squeezed in like a sardine in a very small venue; it was hard to catch more than the occasional glimpse of her curly brown hair. When I could, I noticed her stage presence was sweet with a strange mix of confidence and shyness. At times she would start a sentence, then mumble through it and move the mike so you really didn’t hear much of what she said. But you got the feeling it was something nice.
Impressively, she has a voice far beyond her 16 years that made you forget how new she was to the stage. Accompanied by one guy on synth and another on the drums, she began with “some songs you wouldn’t know yet”. With the same catchy electronic beats and indie-pop sounds sampled on her EP, the crowd lapped up the known with the unknown.
It was hard not to move along with favourites like title-track ‘The Love Club’ and the surprisingly upbeat and dance-y ‘Million Dollar Bills’. Instead of saving the arguably best for last, she threw in ‘Royals’ early on. That’s when phones started to bob overhead.
Her effortlessly angelic voice really popped through the slower stuff, while the dark forest wallpaper behind her only added to the dreamy effect. Watching and listening to Lorde, I undoubtedly got the feeling this girl could be big. If this is what she’s created as a teenager, there are surely great things to come.
She finished on a slow note and left the stage with her band a little abruptly, leaving everyone wondering if there was more to come. Sadly, that was it. Too fresh for an encore, but a bit more of a thank you and goodbye might’ve gone down as well as the cider I was drinking. I guess Lorde moves in mysterious ways.
Although the set was short, I’d bet most of the audience still left with a feeling of awe that will last a whole lot longer than 40 minutes. Watch this space.