Tia Gostelow, Gena Rose Bruce, Slowcoaching @ Howler

It’s AFL Grand Final weekend and Melbourne is ready to celebrate, some starting the night at Howler with a great first set by Slowcoaching, aka Dean Valentino, and his live band. They play delicate indie-pop, jangly guitar tones mixing with the influence of The Cure – a delight to listen to. The band’s joy is infectious as they play latest single Between The Walls 

Gena Rose Bruce immediately captures the crowd’s attention with her beautiful voice. It’s similar to Little Birdy’s Katy Steele. Bruce starts her set with her songs Coming Down and Logan’s Beach, both from her recent debut album Can’t Make You Love Me. The singer asks if anyone’s a football fan – the crowd makes some noise and someone shouts, “Go Tiges!” Despite the chatter in the room, people are captivated by the slower songs, especially the heartbreaking I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You.

Tia Gostelow begins her set with Vague Utopia, a dreamy tune that sends the audience somewhere far away from reality. Giants is a highlight as we sing, “I feel it, I feel it, I feel it in my bones.”

The Queenslander admits to not watching AFL and asks if we’re ready for tomorrow’s game. The crowd cheers and we hear another “Go Tiges!”. The Richmond supporters are out tonight! The 19-year-old announces it’s her last tour of the year and the last tour playing her debut album Thick Skin in full – a mature album filled with pain, confidence and love.

Gostelow’s triple j Like A Version cover of Empire Of The Sun’s We Are The People is a hit with the crowd. Her unique take on the song leads the room in a deep sway. Drummer Sebastian Jennings Hingston keeps a steady beat throughout the night and is fun to watch as he sings along with Gostelow and her fans. Strangers is another favourite with bassist Marcus Kolo Higgs singing LANKS’ parts. The biggest highlight of the night though is Gostelow’s latest colourful single Get To It. It’s an exciting glimpse of what’s next for Tia Gostelow.

Written by Alicia Ogley for The Music

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