THE third song performed by this Australian sibling MOR folky pop-rock pair, sister Stone amusingly explained – with a story which, in her own words, progressed from “sad” to “next level sad”– was a yearning ballad to a musician ex-boyfriend, whom upon hearing said earnest effort at poetic reconciliation For You, apparently reciprocated with a death metal rage called Going To Hell.
Angus And Julia Stone
If only the Stones would apply such levity to their music. Instead, come For You’s intended clincher lyric “I’ll make you a star in my universe”, we got such a hokey embellishment as the stage backdrop suddenly glowing with lights like, yes, stars.
Having released two relatively well-received records in 2007 and 2010, then split up, then reunited at the behest of iconic American producer Rick Rubin who helmed their new self-titled album, Angus and Julia have experienced next level success of late.
With a substantial debt to film and TV syncs, they are in everything from make-up and mobile phone ads to a Twilight movie soundtrack.
Backed here by a plugged-in four-piece band, they evidenced very natural musicianship as much as they did neutered readings of their influences.
Skipping between guitar, keys and trumpet with ease, Julia came across as a kind of Disney-fied Mazzy Starr, her cutesy birdsong voice at one stage tweeting a slinky, slowed-down cover of Grease hit You’re The One That I Want.
Her brother, meanwhile, suggested a sort of soft-core Ryan Adams in country-rock slow jams like Yellow Brick Road. Their best moment was their closest, singing in tight harmony as a duo on bittersweet closer Santa Monica Dream.
Seen on 14.12.14