I WAS THERE | LITTLE MAY @ MAX WATTS – 13.05.16
Little May are back on the road, delighting fans across the nation. Along for the ride in Melbourne was Rob Muinos and E^st.
Rob Muinos opened the night with a straightforward, but simple set. Backed by a band of three, the set had a gritty energy to it. The set caught the attention of the audience, but the lack of familiarity created a barrier to anyone getting fully involved in the set.
It was E^st that caught the attention of the room. Jam packed with energy, and a stage presence that is bound to get her far, she should have had the room in wraps. Her set was powerful, working through well-known favourites and unreleased material, it was an unrelenting performance, as she bounced across the stage with a casual ease for the entire performance. It’s impossible to fault her show, she delivered the best of what she had in a manner that is hard to ignore but there was a sense of poor selection present. While a few pockets of the ever growing audience were getting their groove on, it wasn’t hard to spot the odd perplexed face in the room. In no way was this the fault of E^st, there was simply an unexpected energy delivered by her performance that caught those unfamiliar off guard at what was mostly quite a mellow performance.
Little May have toured rather heavily over the past few years, and it shows. Their performance was slick, with the three ladies interacting comfortably with themselves and with the audience. The lack of flashy showmanship allowed the crowd to pay a finer attention to the structure of the set, and their individual acts. By the third track, ‘Home’, the crowd was mesmerised. A slight sway could be seen working its way across the room as the audience moved in unison. The vocals washed over the room perfectly transcribing their recorded, haunting sound into a reality, leaving you with your spine tingling as you were pulled ever closer. Midway through the set Hannah Field described the upcoming phase of the set as an “Acoustic bushwalk” and that we were at the base of “Angst Mountain”. While the description felt slightly abstract at the start, it was perfectly apt. The set continued to build an atmosphere of broodiness that it was impossible not to be hypnotised by. A rendition of their cover of Icehouse’s ‘Great Southern Land’ sounded suitably massive, but it was some of the hidden gems on the album that stood out best. As you left the venue, it was ‘Oh My My’ that lingered. Towards the end of the set the stage was graced by Field busting a handful of dance moves before the band left the stage. The crowd was more than satisfied by an excellent set, but were exuberant over the return for the unsurprising encore. The band themselves joked about the weird expectation to do an encore and not just play the extra songs, before breaking into ‘Boardwalks’. Little May aren’t the flashiest band around, but there is a simplicity to their set that makes them all the more valuable to see live. What you get, is opportunity for an album that already paints vivid imagery in your mind a chance to come to life, and for this very reason they are a band that you really can’t see enough.
By Ayden Measham-Pywell