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Words by Kate Lockyer

Photography by Elizabeth Sharpe | @ummagummamumma


Canadian pop-rock queens The Beaches packed The Zoo to sold-out capacity on Monday night in Brisbane for their ‘Blame Brett’ tour, with the stunning 17-year-old Melbournian Lotte Gallagher enchanting everyone with her opening set. 

Lotte Gallagher started out with Gray, giving off Holly Humberstone-style pure vocals. Her sweet smiles at the audience belied the melancholy of the lyrics, “Don’t tell me you are not a letdown / Don’t trust anything you say now.” Her movements had the fluidity of a sprite or pixie. Gasoline featured meandering guitar and airy vocals, floating through the smoky lyrics – “Grab the gasoline / Trail it behind you / Grab the gasoline / And light me on fire”. Expansive vocals crescendo-ed as she rocked back and forth on the mic. 

Adam, Lotte said, is the first song she released. A sassy zig-zag of lyrics called out an ex, Adam, for his shitty behaviour – a fitting prelude to Blame Brett, which was to come later in The Beaches’ set. Her defiant energy lit up the stage with an older-than-her-years stage presence. No doubt this will become a staple on girls’ breakup playlists as a mantra to sing along to “I’m better without”. 

The next song was a slow, sad ballad, as Lotte pulled out an acoustic guitar and began with a simple fingerpicked backing, singing, “Is my head too heavy on your chest?” After another tune that livened the mood with a high-energy golden-timbred guitar and ascending synths, she shared that she only had four merch shirts left – and was going to throw one out into the crowd. Someone called out that they had voted for her in the Hottest 100, and she said – “Sorry, I’m aiming for them”, and with a solid catch, her fan got their T-shirt. 

Blue was her last song of the evening, a cerulean colour scape that had you feeling like you had a case of sapphire synaesthesia. Pulling out an electric guitar, Lotte finished her set with a moody track, murmuring “What did you put her through to make her come out so blue?” By the end, her voice was soaring over the minor key, painting the room with her azure tones.

Then, it was time for The Beaches, with their badass energy on full display. Even from Lotte’s set, the audience was gathered at the front of the room, creating a great energy, but half an hour before their set started, people were pressed close to the front in anticipation of getting a close-up experience of the band. 

They kicked off with T-Shirt, a cheeky tune that captured their free-spirited style. The highlight of this song was of course: “I’m not sexy / Itty Bitty Titty Committee / Don’t take me so serious”, with guitar riffs starting with a double-time strum. The audience was lapping it up, clearly familiar with this one from their 2017-era discography. Vocalist/bassist Jordan Miller finished with a hectic belted note, giving us the first taste of her incredible live vocals. 

The next track, Me & Me off their most recent album, was a mood shift, this one about embracing your own company, which is probably better than the dropkick you would otherwise be dating (or as they put it – “I’d rather be dead / Than with 99% of all men”). After this they addressed the crowd, saying how exciting it was to have sold out the entire tour.

Their self-assured, polished stage presence was undeniable in Grow Up Tomorrow (and throughout the entire show – they spend an hour jumping up and down while also delivering a slick performance with not a note out of place). Guitarist Leandra Earl pulled attention with her suave moves, moving to the edge of the stage to play in her dark sunnies. 

Cigarette was another high-energy track, which had the crowd clapping along as Jordan and her guitarist sister Kylie Miller whipped their blonde bobs around. They channel artists like Prince with their effortless appeal and enthralling, sensual song lyrics.  

Two Brisbane boys in Berlin. Jordan and Kylie confessed they wrote Fascination about these guys and their charm. The ‘na na na’s ramped up the energy, Jordan’s belted vocals a treat, and Leandra steps toward the middle once more, holding out her guitar as if she was shooting the notes into the audience.

Things got a little heavier with Back of My Heart, where the crashing of drums from Eliza Enman McDaniel and the guitar chops of each of the others was on full display. This slow-burn song was a serious highlight of the night, molten vocals and guitar lines melding.

The Beaches mentioned that they had spent the afternoon at Felons Brewing Co. and dedicated certified banger Shower Beers to Felons and their brew. This great moment was followed by my favourite song, Edge of the Earth. It’s introduced by Leandra, who said “this gay song” is about her ex-girlfriend, who she would still go to the edge of the earth for. It was such a heart-melter, with lyrics like “Turn me around, right upside down / Spin me like a globe and drop your finger on me”, and Leandra’s alto harmonies on this groovy song created a fabulous texture. 

My Body ft Your Lips, which they said, “goes out to all the horny people out there”, featured more alluring harmonies and gravelly vocals from Leandra. Towards the end, as they sang the line “My body featuring your lips, your lips”, the voices came in canon, one draping over the next like lovers all over each other.

Flashing lights and scratchy guitar matched the scrappy, unashamedly no-filter song My People, and at the end a hypnotic bass solo from Jordan had us all clapping along. In Desdemona, we got Kylie on vocals, singing about a mystery woman who is giving manic pixie dream girl to the max – “She’ll take off all your makeup / Leave you before you wake up / And then you’ll start to wonder / What’s it like in your head?” Kylie’s guitar solo curled around in a mesmerising fashion as they all continued bopping around the stage. 

Let’s Go had Leandra going alright – jumping right offstage to sing among the audience. Another track about letting go and letting yourself be who you are brought the sass down in bucketloads, and when Leandra jumped back onstage, she had a new pair of white, heart-shaped shades from an audience member to show for it.

Jordan introduced the next song… and we all thought we knew what it was going to be when she said, “Anyone ever gone through social anxiety before? I went though a pretty bad case of it when Brett and I broke up.” The audience was bursting at the seams. Sneakily, though, instead of Blame Brett, they teased us with What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Paranoid, Jordan’s voice giving a real kick in the word “kill”. Another recent song, Everything is Boring, had the crowd riled and singing along, the perfect ode to youthful listlessness.

Then, we got to hear it. “It’s that time of the night to blame our fuckin’ exes!” Jordan declared. The catchy track was undefeatable in its singalong-ability, and the crowd without missing a beat sang the entire second verse themselves, the sound of their voices ringing loud and clear. Towards the end the song was stripped back to muted guitar as they sang that mantra “Don’t blame me, blame Brett / Blame my ex, blame my ex, blame my ex”.

The encore delivered another of my favourite songs, and the performance was the most bewitching of the night, Jordan swaying under a purple light as Leandra took over the bass for Kismet. The catchy ballad of serendipity was light and sweet, but the girls still gave it all their energy. 

The Beaches capped off the night with old classic Money, and as with the rest of the set Eliza was rocking out on the drums while the others delivered the heat on the guitars. Kylie and Leandra pulled out some synchronised head bops and Jordan continued to hit each note. The song finished with the crowd in a tizzy, soaking in every last moment of this iconic band.





Thanks to Positive Feedback + Frontier Touring

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