Gig Review: Niine | The Gasometer | Melbourne | 16.8.18

Sunday, August 19, 2018

As far as opening nights go, Niine’s Thursday night show at the Gasometer Hotel had just about everything. With a combination of incredible sounds and visuals, Niine’s night went off without a hitch — starring her own wonderfully talented band; as well as two complimenting openers in Bastard Amber and the energetic Electric Toothbrush.

Bastard Amber opened the evening having some real flair about them — with their bass wielding lead singer bringing a dash of indie jive to kick off the evening. Opening with their track 'Scuba Diver' — a song explaining the similarities of astronauts and deep-sea divers — their setlist rolled through many songs that had a glimmer of Ball Park Music. Their set delivered and left a strong impression leading to the following acts of both Electric Toothbrush and Niine. 

Electric Toothbrush opened directly before Niine and used their indie punk and grunge fusion to set the tone leading into Niine. With their high pace boppy energy and punchy indie rock sound, Electric Toothbrush made a real connection with the crowd who quickly got behind the band and their somewhat eccentric musical stylings.Electric Toothbrush had incredible stage presence, with the crowd moving with them, dancing, shouting and singing to their tunes. 

Niine’s set was a definite highlight of the evening. Despite the short set, Niine and her band held their own throughout their performance ensuring that every person in the crowd was going to go home with a good memory of the experience. 

The band was helped along by their alluring sound combination, with sprinklings of funk, soul and jazz building the backbone of the band’s mysterious elements. 

With their energetic, yet somewhat tempered ambient atmosphere, Niine and her band were somewhat akin to the laidback sounds of Ocean Alley combined with Australian Indie rockers Lime Cordiale. Yet, it was lead vocalist, Niine herself, that created this defining sound, impressing with a truly individual vocal tone. 

Starting right off the bat with one of her two singles of 2018, 'Only He Knows', Niine had the crowd moving along to her music almost immediately with the funk-driven bass and jazzy chords upping the energy in the room. Niine’s second track, 'Frick Tim' was a slower number, creating an emotional hold over the crowd. 

Niine then moved through a number of unreleased tracks, including 'Primitive Mind', 'Disappointed', and 'I’ll Wake Him Up''. Each track was capable of being a future single.

'Dreamer', another unreleased track, was infectious — especially with folding ambient synths and rolling drumming. 'Thunderer of Lies' was a powerful number — with rocking tones and simmered punchy vocals, which kept the music fresh.

Niine’s ambient synths helped fill out the band's total sound, while also emphasising pivotal moments. This flowing fusion of sounds was highlighted by the riveting vocals performed by Niine herself.

'Call Me Your Boo', Niine's single from earlier this year, has enough funk to dance to, and the live rendition gave it a more complete sound — with the synths, bass and chordal guitar patterns combining 

Niine’s unreleased track, 'Cut My Hair' was the closing track for the evening and one that Niine said was “Not a dance hit, but a danceable hit”. It was a fun closing track, full of mini instrumental breakdowns, solos and shifting musical patterns — moving between rock and the indie funk, jazz vibe of the night. The perfect ending song, the track was able to sum up an evening of fun, while still giving Niine the opportunity to display one more burst of instrumental and vocal talent.

Words and photos by Daniel Hanssen (@dangigman)