It's very disorientating to enter a venue previously visited on the other side of the world in a completely different place, but that's the wonder of the Speigel Tent.
Plastic Palace Alice are seemingly everywhere almost over night. Through some well-placed gigs, a tight press campaign and a lot of posters adorning every blank space all over town the band have transformed from Melbourne underdogs to a slick force to be reckoned with.
Tonight was always going to be an odd gig, the crowd is queuing outside long before doors and as they slowly file in and fill the 'room' you can't help but wonder who is here for the band and who is here solely for the experience. The crowd is probably a lot older than the band are used to, and whilst Plastic Palace Alice are not the heaviest or most offensive band in the world there are times when some faces in the crowd look somewhat phased. It is however a perfect setting for a band of their ilk, their dark and slightly macabre tunes and clothing that spans five decades fitting the mysterious, hallowed and gypsy like surroundings beautifully. It's a struggle for the extended line up of nine people including a three-piece string section to all fit on stage but they sound amazing, with all the subtleties and intricacies of each instrument filling the air, at times it feels as if vocalists Rob McDowell and Lise Met are struggling to hear themselves on stage as on occasion their voices wander slightly off pitch but that's more than compensated by the times their starkly different voices counter and complement each other in the time honoured tradition of all brilliant double acts. The band are all stunning musicians, obviously well rehearsed and confident with their songs and instruments, they're not obnoxious and seem to all get along with each other, smiling and enjoying their hour long set, which rubs off on the audience with a familiar and warm feeling developing. Plastic Palace Alice aren't the most strikingly original band in the world and if you're looking for rock edge, danger and anger you wont find it here, if however you're looking for a set of catchy and finely crafted songs played by skilled musicians who enjoy what they're doing and make sure you do to, then make sure you catch them before they up sticks and leave home for an endless tour of foreign festivals.
Published in InPress