Vinnies Dive is an unassuming door in a Southport wall, adjacent the Southport G-link station, and the venue for tonight’s GC indie pop/rock entertainment. It is also handily just over the road from, hands down, the best pizza I’ve had for a while served by the delightful Mr P.P.’s Deli team. Who would’ve thought Pork and Pear could taste so good together? This culinary surprise set the tone nicely for delicious surprises of the musical variety throughout the night.
The Oogars hit the support stage first up with the diminutive frontwoman Gemma imploring everyone to ‘Run Baby Run’, her striking lead vocal piercing the venue. The band’s four Gold Coast girls returned not long ago from a co-headline tour of Spain (with Pacific Swell) and they do have quite a sense of fun in their music, which is a kind of surfer/stoner combo mix with a feminine twist. The crowd liked it and later the girls reflected that they’d come a long away since banging on pots and pans in a garage and designing merch, not long after their two-song first gig compelled Emily, Daniella, Tanisha and Gemma to form their band and actually write more songs. Mo’s Desert Clubhouse hosts them on 19 Oct for a “Fancy” art and music experience if you’d like to sample them yourself.
Pure Milk were musically proficient and driven from the front by an enigmatic hoodie-and-spectacles-wearing young man playing tambourine. Lewis loved his tambourine, and Pure Milk’s music was joyful. Glass of red in hand, Lewis pranced and laughed as the energetic indie rock vibes told of making friends, and friends who talk too much, and what some other friend did one day. It was all very friendly. The team from Bleach* Festival were spotted bopping away to the tunes so it may be concluded that all this talk of friends made everyone feel friendly too. Even San Mei and her drummer Sarah were digging what they heard, taking the time to enjoy their supports in advance of their own main show.
By ten pm, San Mei hit the stage, to strong performances of ‘Until You Feel Good’ and ‘Heaven’ that filled the room and got people moving, heads nodding and an evident realisation that San Mei were certainly the main act. There is a polish to San Mei now; a certain confidence that must only come with playing lots of shows and knowing the material you are producing is loved by many. The stage presence was impressive too, with San Mei’s bright fashion sense, in contrast to the black clad men flanking her on guitar and bass. Drummer Sarah’s loose long hair and animation as she plays is a show in itself, joy evident in her beaming smile as she bashes away on the Sabians and toms.
A few slower melancholy ditties were brought to a close by the band’s stellar new single ‘Something Good’ followed by a cover of popular Deadstar hit ‘Deeper Water’ which fans will have heard played in San Mei sets before. A quick plug of new merch (it is quite fetching, frankly) brought out the driving bass and sweet vocals of ‘Wonder’, which met with cheers from the crowd, and closed out the impressive set. San Mei strike me as one of those bands destined for greatness and quite likely to be one of those outfits you brag about having paid $15 to see “a few years ago”, in a few years time. If you can, get amongst the buzz now, even if you can catch them in support.
Images (C) Shot By Hannan