Miami Marketta – one of the stand out live music venues on the Gold Coast – recently brought three acts up from Melbourne, with neo-soul outfit Saskwatch headlining. Melbourne’s loss was our gain, as first support band Moonlover took to the stage, playing to a mostly empty room at the start. That fact didn’t seem to bother Moonlover, whose opening song ‘Thou Shalt be Free’ (inspired by a David Bowie dream), had the sensibilities of the Beatles layered with Beach Boy type lyrics, and fitted perfectly into the laid back vibe of Miami Marketta. Lead singer Quang Dinh, formerly of Little Red and Naked Bodies, has an easy confident swagger about him that translates into his music. The set ended with an Otis Redding cover and Dinh busting out his harmonica to a now full room. Moonlover’s influences are evident in their music but this band definitely has their own thing going on. If lead singer Dinh sticks to this latest project, I’m looking forward to seeing where this act my go.
Next up was quirky singer/songwriter Hachiku, aka Anika Ostendorf, whose homemade bedroom pop transitioned beautifully onto stage, filling the room with sweet harmonious vocals and well-crafted tunes. Ostendorf, who hails from Germany, is an exceptional talent and her touring band at times created an amazing explosion of sound that was divine and unlike anything I have heard before. I get the sense that Hachiku are going to break soon and feel a hit single coming. Ostendorf certainly has the talent if she chooses to go in that direction.
Finally headliners Saskwatch took to the stage and immediately got the crowd dancing thanks to frontwoman Nkechie Anele’s sensual moves. Saskwatch’s set showcased new songs from their latest album ‘Manual Overide’, and like the cover, the live performance was composed of psychedelic colours of synth sounds paired with a new, heavier guitar influence from Robert Muinos. The song ‘Shrinking Violet’ was the standout. The band questioned themselves, almost apologising that the song is a ‘bit different’. Well, apologies excepted. It has brought a new interest to the sounds of Saskwatch. The songs from the new album have morphed from rock slash (dare I say it) world music/ folk to a band with two keyboards. This means catchy melodies galore alongside the queen of smooth groove, lead singer Anele’s perfect vocals. The Miami Marketta crowd loved every bit of the Saskwatch experience. Let’s hope Gold Coast music lovers start stepping out and support more local and national music so we can continue to have talented bands stop in rather than bypassing us for Brisbane or Byron Bay.
IMAGES (c) Sam Gilmore