LIVE REVIEW: Cat & Calmell – The Brightside

Sydney based duo Cat & Calmell introduced themselves to the world in the middle of a global pandemic, and immediately their music resonated with a coming-of-age audience who related to their youthful experiences and honest lyricism. But while they enjoyed a quick incline in success, they weren’t able to tour and physically see their fans reactions… until now, that is. With an East Coast run of dates, they’ve finally come face-to-face with listeners, and both parties couldn’t be more excited about this fact.

Rolling into Brisbane for their headline show at The Brightside, their fans lined up outside the venue before doors opened to guarantee they’d get their prime front row spot to scream out the lyrics with the duo. By the time Cat & Calmell came out onto the stage for opening track ‘therapist’, the crowd were rowdy and ready to fully immerse themselves in the set. Recent single ‘Cry’, and EP tracks ‘wait around’ and ‘jorge’ made an early appearance before they previewed the first of their hotly awaited unreleased tracks, ‘Feel Alive’, which was an angsty pop-punk inspired moment, and a future hit waiting to be unleashed. They followed it up with their triple j Like A Version cover of Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’ which had some fans screaming out that they finally wanted it on Spotify.

Later in the set they previewed the second and last unreleased track which was the vulnerably charged ‘Still Mine’, which showed a softer side to their artistry. Heading back to the EP material, ‘intentions’, ‘get old’, ‘dumbshit’ and ‘life of mine’ re-ignited the singalong’s, but closing track ‘dramatic’ was the euphoric climax of the show. This was the moment everyone was waiting for, and it was the cathartic release you imagined and more. 

Cat & Calmell have already found such a strong confidence and ownership on stage with a humble presence still in-tact. Smiling through their whole set, you could tell that they couldn’t have been happier to be finally playing these songs live on the road, and their fans reactions definitely validated those feelings. 

On opening duties, Sydney bedroom pop singer-songwriter Cody Jon was also making his Brisbane live debut. Finding himself in a similar breakthrough trajectory during lockdown, you could feel his eagerness to impress the crowd who seemed familiar with his songs ‘poison’, and recent single ‘Becky’s Plan’. Bouncing across the stage with his nostalgic-tinged pop, his previous singles ‘what’s up’, ‘all thanks to you’, and ‘icognito’ felt like the perfect introduction to who he is as an artist, with a fun cover of ‘Stacy’s Mom’ sonically bringing together all of his different influences. But he also took a moment to look towards what is to come, and the future for Cody Jon seems really bright. ‘Stage Fright’ was a stunning pop track that delivered a unique perspective of someone not being ready for a relationship and breaking the other person’s heart. And that one is genuinely a hit waiting to be released. 

Cat & Calmell Australian Tour

Thursday 26 May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney