Having never had the opportunity to see The Babe Rainbow’s live show, I had no idea what to expect when I stepped into The Zoo for their second studio album tour. Swallowed by colourful lights, vibrant outfits and a euphoric energy in the air, The Babe Rainbow’s ‘Double Rainbow’ Tour did not disappoint. The 6-piece really knows how to please a crowd and create something beautiful.
Before the main event, electrifying psych-pop Brisbane band Nice Biscuit graced us with their presence to warm up the stage. Rolling guitar solos and symphonic harmonies drowned the room and captivated the crowd, very quick to get everybody dancing and alive. Female fronted and killing it, Nice Biscuit put on a stellar performance for The Zoo. They had tight rhythms throughout each song and smooth bass lines to keep it moving. The vocal effects were suitable and sat nicely within the rest of the mix, except for the keyboard which was producing feedback at the start of the set - c’mon sound guy. Each member of Nice Biscuit were masters of their own roles in the band and on their instruments, complementing one another rather than fighting for centre of attention, especially melodically.
One thing that seemed to let the band down a little was their stage presence. The band’s enthusiasm simply did not match the amazing energy of the two frontwomen, Billie and Grace. This was made up by their musicianship, but I would have liked to see the band’s gusto as a unit, rather than leaving it up to the singers. However, overall a captivating performance from these 70s inspired intergalactic rockers.
Your favourite magical 60’s psych-folk boys took to the stage next, bringing with them some bongos and the occasional guitar sound that was vaguely reminiscent of a sitar. Based on what I had been told by a few friends regarding their live show, I was expecting the band to be lost in their instruments, barely acknowledging the audience. I was instantly surprised. The Babe Rainbow have a quirky, energetic stage presence that truly rides the show and makes for interesting and eventful breaks between songs. Besides, it takes some skill to shake six maracas at once – kudos to you, Angus Darling (lead singer). To match their energy, colourful lights and hundreds of streamers decorated the stage, complementing the happy music and adding to the joyful atmosphere.
As always, the mixture of dream-pop and psych-folk was effortlessly satisfying and sufficed the crowds need for a good dance. They have truly tapped into new a pop sound that blends modern technology with the music of the 60’s. The crowd favourite tunes were obvious and responded to with delightful cheers and a sing-along. These favourites being ‘Johnny Stay Cool’, ‘Cool Cat Vibe’ (which was spiced up with a burst of confetti halfway through) and of course, their finale, ‘Love Forever’.
The combination of Nice Biscuit and The Babe Rainbow made for a mesmerising line up and had everyone dancing throughout the entirety of the show. The Brisbane show was their last leg of the tour, but make sure to catch them when they return from their US shows next year!
Words by Anna Leathem