Allday @ The Triffid, 5th June
I have never been to The Triffid before, but I like it as soon as we walk inside. Plastered with pop art and comic book images, the outside is a cool mixture of trendy and grungy, although the venue is surprisingly suave inside with a large, well-lit stage, two bars, and a balcony. When we arrive, a DJ is playing hip-hop and trap, a little dirtier than I expected for an Allday show. I’m then informed that Asta is sick so won’t be performing. A little disappointed, we crowd into the moshpit just in time for Gill Bates to make a big entrance.
Bouncing onstage with more energy than I thought humanly possible, Gill Bates puts in a lot of effort to meet his hype. The crowd seem ready and waiting, although their excitement wanes a little by the seventh ‘How y’all feeling?’. Gill then bursts into song practically bouncing off the walls. The effect is diminished though by the fact that they’re all the full, prerecorded versions so we can barely hear his own vocals live on stage. Despite his larger-than-life stage presence, the audience grows quickly distracted, particularly when he forces us to clap or tries to get us to chant his name. Unfortunately, despite what may be real talent lurking under all the stage show, the overall effect is inauthentic and slightly irritating. It’s a bit of a confusing start to the show.
It’s not long before the DJ announces Allday, and the audience clamours forward shouting his name. Sauntering onstage with characteristic chill, he starts with a song from the new album, Startup Cult. Contrasting dramatically with his opening act, his laid-back and lyrically clever style of rap – with obvious Aussie accent of course – smacks of authentic originality. His energy is high but not distracting, and the crowd hangs on his every word; they lose their collective mind when he launches into Right Now, and soon we can barely hear Allday over the euphorically singing audience.
In fact, as the night wears on, it becomes clear that the crowd is what makes this gig. I’ve never seen such devotion from an audience; they crane to touch him, sing every words of every track, and wail when he stops. The result is a bit alienating to those who – like me – aren’t quite as involved, and I do wish I could hear more of Allday and less of his fans. Still, the atmosphere is electric.
Throwing in recognisable covers and remixes of Hermitude/Flume and Childish Gambino, Allday never loses his sense of humour and creativity, and as usual never takes himself too seriously. Popular tracks like Taking Hold and You Always Know The DJ prompt something close to mass hysteria from the audience, but Allday performs with skill and professionalism, keeping his tracks tight and entertaining. He brings on Gill Bates for the encore, and they perform She Knows, which gets everyone dancing, singing, and having a good time. After a final performance of Claude Monet, Allday thanks us all and wanders offstage, and the audience drunkenly starts to disperse. It’s the end of a skilled but very in-house show.