REVIEW: Motor Ace at The Triffid 6/4/2019

Motor Ace Profile

Words By Tracey Moyle.

Saturday night in the otherwise quiet inner city suburb of Newstead Brisbane.  Surrounding business are in sleep mode but The Triffid is packed with eager Motor Ace fans in well worn converse and faded band shirts wondering how has it been almost 15 years since they last rocked out to this much loved Alternative Rock band of the early millennium.

Tonight will definitely dig up musical memories of a time when life was simpler for many.   Australian music had found a new authority, triple J ruled the airwaves, there were no mortgages, no responsibilities just great mates, lots of beers and Motor Ace, one of many brilliant home grown talents dominating the charts.

Not just a play words relating to their 2001 debut album ‘Five Star Laundry’, this tour is aptly named Five Star Reunion because once inside, the energy of the crowd omits that five star feel, a ‘catch up with old friends’ vibe.

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Hallie – Photo by Tracey Moyle.

A small crowd had gathered early for the first support, as Indi Pop local Hallie takes the stage.   She clearly has a faithful following judging by the response.  And soon it’s clear why.  Her beautiful pop vocals have an unassuming power as she opens with her 2018 debut release Banana and Honey.  Her songs are drawn from her life experience, and the blend of sunny pop vocals and raw truths about life are a fresh combination.   With songs like Wink Wink Nudge Nudge her upbringing on a diet of folk music has obviously had a strong influence.  Finishing up with  her latest release What’s Good? and the lively Not a Lady, she definitely left the slowly growing crowd with a positive energy and eager to see more.  Keep an ear open for Hallie, she has a lot to offer.

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Mocking Bird – Photo by Tracey Moyle.

After a short break the night’s second support arrives.  The mysterious Mocking Bird takes the stage with an air of authority.  Sporting a Barbra Feldon/99-esque wig, Bec, as she introduced herself was small in stature but had a big presence, indicating that this was not unfamiliar territory.  Her strong vocals demanded attention with a blend of blues/indi/rock and a gift for story telling.   The crowd responded to her music in a way that indicated that this mysterious musician had something special to offer.  The secret persona of Mocking Bird bore a striking resemblance to Bec Callander of Rackett.   She powered through her set and left everyone wanting more.  Lets hope we see more of this beautifully talented woman soon.

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Motor Ace – Photo by Tracey Moyle.

Finally the time arrived for Motor Ace to hit the stage.  Opening the night with Keeping Secrets from their brilliant second album ‘Shoot This’ was a popular choice with the crowd.  With the crowd up front singing along to every word.

Wasting no time with words they were straight into 5 Star Laundry off their 2001 debut album of the same name.  The crowd were clearly in their element happily reliving their late teens, early 20’s as they broke into song along with Ride the Wave, and rocked out to Lorenzo, Criminal Past and Fluke.   The pace slowed with A Little Closer, their final ever release off their 2005 album ‘Animal’.

With their original line up Patrick Robertson on vocals and  guitar, Dave Ong, guitar Damian Costin, drums, and Matt Balfe on bass they showed no evidence of their 14 year hiatus.

The songs continued and the crowd kept singing.  Tomorrow’s Gone, Where Did You Go, Pieces kept the pace going until they guys took a quick break and came back with a final emotion filled final set with Hey Driver, Chromakey, and their hit Death Defy, made commercially popular as the theme to the hit Australian TV show of the naughties, ‘The Secret Life of Us’.   Chairman of the Board was next with the crowd going nuts knowing the show was nearly done.

They finished off with arguably their best song Carry On evoking such emotion in the guys around us they just couldn’t resist a big group hug.  Summing up to me why Motor Ace are one of our much loved bands of the naughties. Their songs are pure and honest rock, and have that distinctive sound of an era full of great memories and the rebirth of amazing Australian music.

There were a lot of happy faces leaving The Triffid last night and I feel it’s likely some old Motor Ace cd’s have been dug out today to ‘carry on’ those good feels.

Motor Ace wrap up their reunion tour in Melbourne at the on April 12 at 170 Russell.  If you can get along to see them, it will be night to remember.



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