Melodie Nelson + Magnetic Heads + Swimwear – GoodGod Small Club (03.09.11)

As the night started off with a devilish Oporto ‘Feisty’ burger and ended with angelic Feist-like vocals, somehow in a parallel universe the evening also transitioned like a time machine in reverse, with supporting act Swimwear delivering synth-tastic sounds from the ’80s, and featuring act Melodie Nelson sending us back to the swinging ’60s.

The scene itself, GoodGod Small Club, didn’t help to alleviate the illusion of feeling like you’re situated in a previous era, with its humble abode consisting of quaint furnishings. However you looked at it, the Sydney venue was the place to be for a launch in support of the highly anticipated debut album, Meditations On The Sun, by none other than Lia Tsamoglou, who goes by the name of Melodie Nelson.

From one moniker to another, Tim Derricourt’s Swimwear fired up the stage and got the night under way as he sung a Carly Simon cover titled “Why”, highlighted by continual thrusts across the stage in an amusing fashion, resulting in the spectacle of an animated performer. The delicious synthesised tunes filtered through the area as a successful invitation to the small crowd to dance along to the consistent melodic beats. With a hypnotising combination of catchy electronic hooks, strong vocals, and entertaining visual displays, it was the perfect way to loosen things up in a stiffened room.

Although the guests were enthused by the otherwise known Dappled Cities vocalist and guitarist with his theatrics, there proved to be a decline in intensity as Magnetic Fields took to the stage, as they started out with debut single “Blind”, emphasised by a repetitious riff echoed at an eased pace. The temporarily drummer-less band continued to stride out with tracks such as new song “Your Time Has Gone Running”, and their most recent single “Wild Eyes”, taken from the Wild Eyes EP, released earlier this year.

Looking ahead, with attention purely focused on the upcoming release of Melodie Nelson’s album, there was an undeniable notion that the gathering were there to see her perform and catch some sounds from the featured tracks on Meditations On The Sun. I had the privilege of seeing Lia support Pinback a fortnight ago; however, she was a one woman show, with only her iPod, keyboard and vocals in tow. In contrast, Melodie Nelson went all out for her album launch, with a team which included a guitarist (Travis Baird), bass player (Kell Derrig-Hall), cellist (Robin Dixon), drummer (Hugh Boyce) and three backing vocalists (featuring Sar Friedman).

The difference in accompaniment made a significant change in depth, as they kicked things off with the soft and heavenly layered vocals of “Waiting”, the first track from the album. The guests were highly entranced by “My Johnny” in the form of head-bopping to sounds reminiscent of ’60s folk-rock/pop, while exotically-influenced “This Town” prompted a rousing applause from the audience. The closer of the show, “Orpheus, She’s Gone”, made for a mesmerising way to end the show, accentuated by the fact that it will be the next single to be released with a video, to be shot by director Danielle Zorbas.

All in all, the line-up was perfectly complemented by the multi-dimensional transient progress of the evening, from a high energy act to an all too soothing way to conclude the night’s premier event, which made for a peaceful way to end the day.


1. Waiting
2. Meditations On The Sun
3. Tonight
4. Colours Of My Dreams
5. Hurt Me So
6. My Johnny
7. This Town
8. Orpheus, She’s Gone