Animaux @ The Motor Room, 23rd August

Brisbanites will lap up any opportunity for free live music, but when you combine it with quality food and drink, it’s a solid night out. On this particular Saturday night, The Motor Room – part of the Boundary Street Markets in West End – entices me to its many delights as Melbourne band Animaux tour their latest single, Come On Over. The seven-piece band are well known for their raucous live shows, and they seem keen to bring the good times on what would be their first ever gig in Queensland.

With much of the crowd still outside socialising over the plentiful food stalls, the opening act from Animaux’s vocalist Alex Lahey is a scarcely populated affairShe soldiers on, however, providing a neat, stripped back take of her recorded tracks. Her solo material is breezy and accessible, but also shows definite songwriting and vocal chops. Tracks like Ivy League and her latest single, Air Mail, bring plenty of indie sensibility mixed with pop charm – think Courtney Barnett meets Missy Higgins.

The crowd begins to slowly wander inside as second support act, The Ravi Welsh Trio, take to the tiny stage and immediately throw down a solid funk instrumental. The trio are definitely in sync  as they power through a veritable smorgasbord of funk, soul, jazz and rock inspired tracks, with Welsh producing most of the magic on stage. It even inspires a few brave souls to showcase their dancing skills, much to the amusement of everyone else in the room.

They’re not the only ones dancing for much longer though, as Animaux eventually come on and successfully have the room on their feet with a wide array of upbeat, funk inspired pop numbers. The band looks rather cramped on stage but manages to make space for two saxophones and a trumpet. Lahey introduces us to the members of the band and admits that a lack of money means they’re borrowing equipment for the night. Borrowed or not, the band puts it to good use as they jam through plenty of jazzy numbers. The new single has Lahey spectacularly belting out high notes, but it’s favourites from their Vale St. EP – slow jam Alaska and set-ender, Questions and Exclamation Marks – that really get the crowd going.

“Man, Brisbane has been sick!” Lahey exclaims mid-set. We’re glad you like it, and to be honest, with a performance like that, here’s hoping Animaux can come back sooner rather than later.

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