With a playlist full of nostalgic pop tunes from the likes of The Veronicas blasting through The Triffid on a Friday night, the party vibes were in session for Mallrat’s first of three sold out shows over the weekend. Returning home for a three night residency, the shows sold out within minutes and were instantly promised to be an intimate and fun affair.
“Brissy, how you feeling tonight?” Kota Banks screamed as she took to the stage for a playful set of pop songs and positivity. Kicking things off with ‘Prize’ she quickly added a gritty rap verse before sliding into the fun ‘Zoom’. Quickly getting acquainted with the early crowd who were making their way into the venue she explained how her next song ‘Decisions’ was inspired by never being able to make a decision on what to eat for breakfast, let alone on if she likes a boy or not. Her playful banter kept rolling with the 80’s inspired ‘British Boy’ introducing her drunk alter ego “Sandra” who apparently likes to have a lot fun before throwing it back to her debut single ‘Holiday’. Explaining how she really appreciated the pure honesty and emotion that Mallrat injects into her songwriting, she wanted to play one of her most vulnerable songs that she struggles to play live. ‘Weekend’ was a relatable and catchy pop-ballad with a big hook that deserves to be heard and really should be considered as a future release. Wrapping up her brief 30 minute set with ‘Child’ and the self appreciation track ‘I’m It’ she left the crowd warmed up and dancing.
Basenji snuck onto the stage and laid behind the decks during the brief switchover before jumping up and instantly set the low-key underground club vibes with a various compilation of slick instrumentals. “Brisbane, my name is Basenji. It’s so great to be back. I’m going to be playing some new music and some old music so bare with me” he eagerly confessed to the crowd. It seemed like a strange choice to follow up Kota Banks’ hyped set with a moody dance set as everyone was ready to sing along and dance but that didn’t really happen until he played his collaboration with Tkay Maidza, ‘Mistakes’, towards the end of his set. Finishing it all up with his moody unreleased new single he gave you some relatable lyrics that tugged on your heartstrings, “Don’t know how to live if it’s not with you”. Which lets be honest, you need to prepare yourself for.
Over the past couple of years Mallrat has done a lot of touring. Like I mean, a lot. She’s played every festival imaginable, toured with the likes of Post Malone and Peking Duk and is now embarking on her biggest run of headline shows yet. However whilst her crowds are getting bigger, her live show isn’t really evolving. It’s still only her and her DJ on stage with the addition of Tyne James Organ for an acoustic set. And her production is non existent except for a dreamy light show which I guess fits her minimalist aesthetic. But by now I expect something bigger from her. Maybe a drummer? Some dancers like her hyped Splendour In The Grass set Or even just a visual backdrop would add something different to her show. Instead the show is heavily cemented in her roots and is heavily relied on her gracious stage presence and the radiating happiness and reflection her music creates. With DJ Denim opening the show with a little solo spot, Mallrat takes to the stage through the opening lines of ‘Tokyo Drift’. With the crowd roaring with excitement, it didn’t matter if they had seen her 10 times before, they were still excited to get lost in the music and dance along with the Brisbane singer-songwriter. “How is everyone tonight? We are so excited to be here playing in this venue. I’ve seen Tkay Maidza, San Cisco and Young Franco play here, and now I’m playing here 3 nights in a row which is crazy”.
As she swayed her way through old favourites ‘For Real’ and ‘Sunglasses’ she candidly confessed that she wrote that song at Bens Burgers in the Valley one day that she skipped school before breaking out into a little giggle. “I can never tell that story anywhere else cause no one else knows what Bens Burgers is and it doesn’t geographically make sense”. ‘Texas’ and ‘Inside Voices’ followed before she grabbed her mike stand for ‘Make Time’ and was then joined on stage by Tyne James Organ for ‘Better’ and a cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bellayche’. With her smile beaming throughout the whole set, you could tell that she was genuinely so grateful. ‘Bunny Island’, ‘Groceries’ and ‘Nobody’s Home’ heard the big singalong go louder before she had one last dance with the crowd during ‘Uninvited’ which even saw Denim jumping into the crowd. The vibe was super positive and the crowd loved every moment. It was a classic Mallrat show, with a whole lot of love and appreciation.
Check out the full gallery captured by Ekul Creative HERE;
Photos by Luke Cummins