At the door to Currumbin’s Soundlounge, Brad greeted me with a big smile.
“G’day Glenn, great to have you with us again”
Woah… That was nice. I could see why he might have been in a good mood though. The room was full of women of all ages excited to experience the romantic hopefulness of The Paper Kites and Patrick James, on their Gold Coast stop while touring Australia.
If a patron wasn’t a female in a group of women, it was evident a date night was occurring, and a good courtship impression was being attempted. I wondered cheekily how so many single men could have missed such an opportunity. Maybe there was probably a football game or a car race on somewhere?
As I cast aside these thoughts of Cupid’s good work bringing beautiful people together, Patrick James kicked off his set. Perhaps surprisingly, a good proportion of the crowd took notice. Patrick introduced the set with an uptempo ditty, In New Light, the first song of his new album Outlier, and the crowd actually seemed to grow.
Patrick and the band kept that tempo up, and the mood lighter for five songs, before he went solo on keys and guitar for Kings and Queens and a cover of The Killers’ Runaways. The band returned and the crowd was encouraged to get clapping for All About To Change from an earlier EP. The set closed on the current single, California Song, where Patrick implores a lady to “meet him in California”. I got the impression by the end of that song he may have had a few acceptances of his advances.
Two such keen individuals, Steph and Andrea, who had travelled from Brisbane for the gig, chatted with me during the short break about their thoughts on the set,
“So good. I wanted to dance the whole time…” – Steph
“I loved him, I loved him. My favourite song was Message.” – Andrea
Our friends from Melbourne, The Paper Kites, had played on the Gold Coast three previous times and seemed genuinely impressed that so many had come out to check out the venue and the band on this fourth occasion, commenting on it being the biggest Gold Coast crowd they’d played to. Frontman Sam Bentley connected gently with the crowd and reminded me at times of a young Paul Simon, notwithstanding his four band mates turning up the volume during the set and delivering a little more of the rock focus in the “rock-folk” genre Wikipedia uses to describe the band. The July release, Electric Indigo, started the set off with a familiar tone and brought on the odd dance move, reminiscent of the popular music video.
A couple of tunes from older EPs and the new album, brought the band to that moment in every gig where the favourite gets played. Bloom motivated quite a number of screams from the crowd and spontaneous iPhone videography burst forth from outstretched arms above the canopy of the audience. I think I saw a few indiscrete pashes as well. Kids these days, eh? No decorum!
A beautiful moment in the set saw Sam and Christina bid farewell to their bandmates and lead a few quieter tunes, beckoning the crowd to stop talking or “go outside” so everyone who wanted to could enjoy the music. Surprisingly, the wish for the sound of silence was granted and that channelling of Simon & Garfunkel became even more evident, albeit Christina’s shorter stature (Garfunkel is 6ft tall, Christina is not) possibly ruining the comparison somewhat, while the duo played Neon Crimson and others.
Sam’s banter throughout the gig was genuine and playful, despite the melancholy tone of many of the songs. Obviously appreciative of their support as well, Sam commented coyly on Patrick James’ earlier set,
“Let’s hear it for Patrick and his band. They’re good. So good. And all of them are really good looking. I hate them.”
I bumped into Mudgeeraba local, Robbie, and her friend Vanessa on the way out of the venue and they offered their comments on the show,
“It was great. We loved it. Too Late is my favourite song.” – Robbie
“I hadn’t really got into them before but I’m really glad Robbie invited me. It was excellent” – Vanessa
Evidently, The Paper Kites impressed the soundlounge crowd with a heartfelt and romantic show. They head off to the USA and Canada in November before returning to Australia to play at Woodford Folk Festival on 30 December