Live Review: Timothy Nelson Album Launch (Melbourne) with Split Seconds and Brash
As we came towards the end of Melbourne Music week 2016, an interesting event caught my eye: The Melbourne leg of Timothy Nelson’s album launch at the Spotted Mallard which had Split Seconds and Brash on the bill ironically all of them (at least initially) are from Western Australia.
The night started with Brash who while I had heard her music, I had not previously seen perform live before. Brash set the tone of the night early with the early comers appreciating the stories she told through her songs. Clearly she has been busy writing of late, with all of her songs bar one new since her EP was released mid 2016. Her new songs seem to be taking her in a new direction with less of a country flavour so it will be interesting to hear how she approaches that when putting together her next release. I was a little bit distracted by her use of the pedal harmonies – not in a bad way – they were used to great effect and I wondered how she managed this so effortlessly. I think a smaller more intimate venue would work better for Brash, but other than that it was a great start to the evening.
Next up was Split Seconds, an indie-pop band who have also relocated to Melbourne from Perth. Split Seconds were tight, had a great stage presence and clearly enjoyed what they were doing – and this rubbed off on the crowd! Songs such as “New Recluse” reminded me of The Cure and Paul Kelly at the same time but it was they way they balanced the main melody with the harmonies and second guitar that stood out for me – the blend was always interesting while the rhythm section kept driving the songs home. The single “Relocation Blues” from Split Seconds most recent album seemed appropriate for the occasion with the crowd appreciating a song about the difficulties of leaving WA to an upbeat Motown inspired groove before closing their set with an epic rendition of their song “Any Minute Now” with a bridge / middle section that built a similar sense of anticipation to Death Cab’s “I Will Possess Your Heart”. A thoroughly enjoyable set and look forward to seeing them again.
It wasn’t long before Timothy Nelson was up on stage. Although not with his usual Perth based band, you wouldn’t know it such was their tightness and on stage chemistry. Many people had come for Timothy and that anticipation translated to an attentive and captivated audience throughout his set. “Darling No” was an early highlight of the set with “Good As It Gets” featuring pedal steel guitar and a big falsetto chorus also memorable. Timothy and the band gave a good sense of the new album playing numbers such as “Explain”, “Release”, “New York (You’ll Never Be Mine)” and “Living Saloon” – a song about Timothy’s love/hate relationship with his half-broken down van while still playing a number of older favorites from the Infidels such as “Mary Lou”. He bends and blends an array of genres from alt-country, indie-pop to classic rock ‘n’ roll while the harmonies are reminiscent of arrangements from the likes of Split Endz and Ben Folds Five. If this is an indication of the album then it looks like it will definitely be worth a good listen. “We Never Change” was another song that stood out with the open low verses drawing the audience in before eventually building to a big outro featuring more pedal steel guitar and luscious harmonies. Timothy finished up with “Cocoa Jackson” – a song about falling in love with a nun which is always a popular number. Having seen Timothy Nelson perform solo before I couldn’t help but feel some of the words and performance got lost in the band, but fortunately he will be playing acoustic in Melting Pot’s upcoming Songwriters in the Round on Friday the 9th of December so we will get the best of both worlds with him performing at that.
All in all, it was a quality night of incredible music from three fantastic acts.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsLiam Dixon
Liam is the founder and director of Melting Pot. Once a regular performer at Melting Pot events as the writer / frontman for local band Creatures of Karma, these days Liam works as a commercial lawyer by day. When hes not busy doing lawyer stuff or with Melting Pot, Liam loves to write, play and record his own music and see the odd gig around town.