19 Dec 2018
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Pale Lady - Gig Review: Pale Lady @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland 30/06/2018

01 Jul 2018 // A review by hailtree

It may have been a cold winter’s night here in Auckland, but that didn’t stop me from heading down to Ding Dong Lounge to catch Pale Lady at the Auckland leg of their North Island EP Tour. Told to Fold was just released earlier this month, and if you haven’t already got it saved into all of your favourite Spotify playlists, you’re doing something wrong!

The boys had strung together an impressive line-up, showcasing a handful of the local talent here in the Auckland scene. First up for the night were Saints of Taboo, who powered through their set. With a first band that strong, it definitely set some pretty high standards for the rest of the night, and those standards were definitely met.

Up next were Kindred Vice, a band I had been told by a friend were "well beyond their years." Frontman Christian was in his element, and it was obvious immediately that there was no stage fright at all present. He commanded the stage, taking every opportunity he could to chat up the crowd. "Are you guys having a good night?" he called out - but was met by a quick "No!" from the crowd. Though this was quickly disproved, as within the first bars of the next song the entire front row had their arms around each other, swaying and singing along to the music together. He threw jokes out at the crowd – “What do you call a deer with no eyes? No I-Deer-A” – causing the drummer Keane to move up to the front of the stage and plead with the crowd to make him stop. “We’re only gonna play like four songs tonight because of all the banter! Good banter though!” Christian quickly remarked, and then introduced their first and only cover of the night – Panic! At The Disco’s ‘I write sins not tragedies’ – which was immediately a hit with the crowd. I would definitely say the crowd enjoyed their performance, as even the bartender came for a dance – wearing a duck inflatable around his waist – so if that’s not the mark of a good band? I don’t think I know what is.

Third in the line-up were the band Mudshark, I had just been outside chatting to a girl who said she was here to see them because "they’re just incredible." They had a few minor technical difficulties at first, but the band took this time to interact with everyone, even handing down their bass guitar to someone in the crowd – "We’d like to introduce our new bassist!" frontman Rory called out, as the first few bars of Baa Baa Black Sheep filled the room. The band took every opportunity they could to heckle each other on stage – with the ‘real’ bassist Neb taking most of the hits. Though mid song Rory did lean in for a cheeky kiss with Neb, and all seemed well again – until the song finished and Rory complained that he was now covered in Neb’s slobber. You could tell the band were there to have fun, and their energy was contagious – towards the end of their set list Rory called over to keyboardist, asking what song was up next. "Gwen Stefani" the crowd called back, which the keyboardist immediately took the side of, insisting that the set list really did say Gwen Stefani, before beginning the opening keys of another one of their own songs.

After being spoiled by the talent already, Pale Lady took the stage. "We’re Pale Lady thanks for coming out!" were the first words out of frontman Conall’s mouth, before quickly launching into their first song Culture Vulture. I’d been told the day before that they were incredible, to treat them nicely, and not throw eggs at them, and within a few seconds of the song I was definitely sold. It’s always a lovely surprise when the band performs even better than they do on their EP – and the rest of the crowd definitely held a similar view. "Thanks for waking us up!" someone called out as the first song drew to a close. Pale Lady swung through the rest of their set list, playing all of the songs from their new EP, as well as a selection of others. The guitarist Jack even jumped out into the crowd during one of the songs, to have a dance with everyone while still shredding away. The boys moved with expertise, perfectly blending what a fellow crowd member described as "church choir meets rock". Conall remarked mid set that they were exhausted after travelling all day, and that their body clocks felt like it was still 2am. But this didn’t affect the performance they put on at all. Their latest EP ‘Told to Fold’ features artwork of an origami swan, and they had folded and placed origami swans all over their amps. Just when you thought there were enough swans floating around, a crowd member handed up his own attempt at a miniature origami folded swan - ‘I made you guys a bird!’. As they moved towards the slower songs in the set list, Conall warned the crowd – "This song is a bit… a bit more emotional." Though Jack was counteracting his heartfelt words by pretending to wipe fake tears from his eyes, in a very exaggerated fashion. As the night drew to a close, the final bars of the EP title track Told To Fold were met with a very enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd. The crowd instantly called for an encore, and Pale Lady took minimal convincing to continue their set for just a few minutes longer.

Pale Lady might be new on the scene, but they’re one to watch out for after a first EP that strong. They are about to head off on a tour around Europe in August, and I’m definitely excited to see what comes next.


Review written by Amanda Hailwood
Photo courtesy of Amanda Hailwood

 

About Pale Lady

Founded in late 2016, Pale Lady consists of four rock fanatics who found themselves in the same music degree. Since then, it has been non stop writing and gigging to bring something new to Rock n Roll. Their music is diverse, with influences both from old school classics and modern rock.

Pale Lady’s sound is characterised by the layered elements and high energy. At a show you can expect to hear catchy vocal melodies, heavy riffs and guitar solos a plenty. Since winning the 2017 National Battle Of The Bands, the band has been working towards upcoming releases. They will bring out new music over the course of 2018, leading up to their Europe tour in August.


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