Photographer: Barry Schipplock
The Tivoli, Brisbane
Thursday October 09, 2014
It seems of late that there are a lot of bands that are touring off the back of a smash hit single, and the next band to step into that role are Brisbane natives, Sheppard, playing at the Tivoli. Thursday August 9. Touring debut album, Bombs Away, struggling to sell out the smoke filled auditorium, the crowd is a mix of older and younger fans this chilly spring evening.
With recent single ‘Geronimo’ assaulting the airwaves as the break out single for the band, Sheppard open the show with’ Hold My Tongue’, a drum heavy track that is rather bouncy and light hearted to get the crowd moving. Followed up by tracks ‘Smile’, ‘Let Me Down Easy’, ‘Find Someone’, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. Each song following onto the next with relative ease and not too many memorable moments.
With her mermaid-esque aqua hair, the gorgeous Amy Sheppard is easy to watch and a natural on stage. She is captivating in her knitted see-through top and ability to use the entire stage. Amy is gorgeous and passionate with a lot of energy to spare. She glides across the stage using every possible corner, aqua hair mesmerising. Waving to audience members and taking pleasure in performing, Amy is a fledgling performer with the ability to hold the show on her own.
The rest of the band seem a little lost on stage and bassist Emma seems rather bored at times and restless, hardly cracking a smile. They lack the ability to work together as a whole and could possibly work on their stage presence a little more to make the show gel better. At times this disconnection is distracting from the performance.
George Sheppard makes attempts to be witty, but is not engaging and at times comes across a little arrogant; giving the impression that the band deserve to be there on stage, rather than a little humility that other artists present. There is little interaction and he lacks the ability to hold and really captivate a crowd. He feels the need to draw attention to the band’s recent slew of ARIA nominations, a gesture that is unnecessary especially when he disrespects Chet Faker; it seems like an attempt at humour but comes out rude and brattish.
Mostly the songs are easy listening and fun, Sheppard are not really breaking new ground with the music they present. The performance seems rushed at times and not well thought out. What it really lacks is passion, fire and personal connection to most of the songs; instead at times it is bland and mediocre. There is little introduction to the songs and when there is it is rushed, feeling like the band are on a time constraint. Amy is the highlight of the show, she is a darling to watch and saves the show from utter blandness. With a little more polish Amy will eventually make an excellent performer and it will be interesting to watch her grow as an artist.
Closing the show with the smash hit ‘Geronimo’, the song on everyone’s wish list, Sheppard leave the crowd amped up and dancing. To say the least the performance has flowed with relative lack-lustre delivery and was not so memorable. The stand out moment really being when an George invites a severely intoxicated fan on stage for a round of hugs from the band which has the crowd laughing as the girl stumbles blindly around the stage in a drunken state.
Sometimes a song may capture the public on the airwaves, but is it really enough to produce an entire 60 minute show that will have people returning for more? Not this night.
Reviewer: Amanda Starkey