Jen Cloher
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Jen Cloher




Milk Records! celebrated Record Store Day with many incredible artefacts of fetishistic vinyl delights. Jen Cloher's instant classic In Blood Memory reissued on blood red vinyl, Courtney Barnett's 'Kim's Caravan' released as a limited edition 12” single (only available only on the day) and the East Brunswick All Girls Choir's beer coloured 'Seven Drummers' seven inch. These guys know how to look after their fans. The days highlight however was a Jen Cloher's gig launching a split seven inch with Courtney Barnett of 'Needle In The Hay'/'Swan St Swagger'. Did I mention it is pressed on clear vinyl? Amazing.

The punters were packed into the steamy bandroom from the shittily inclement weather outside. The deft DJ fingers of RRR's Fee B Squared (Maps, ex Breakfasters) kept people ears entertained on the decks, Fee B proclaiming earlier on Facebook to play solely MP3's in honour of Record Store Day. Genius.

Jen Cloher

I had missed The Finks opening the night but arrived in time for the very cool Totally Mild set. A clever jangly pop sensation. The falsetto vocals of Elizabeth Mitchell sitting back into the mix, the lead sound sitting atop the tight pop was the languidly searing and sexual sounds from the guitar pickings of Zach Schneider.

Visual Artist and Ouch My Face front force Celeste Potter had limited edition t-shirts available for silent auction, the proceeds being donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. The shirts were used in the film clip of 'Needle In The Hay' and covered in the paint which had been poured over each band members head. One of these shirts was auctioned live onstage fetching a handsome sum of $110. Sweet.

Jen Cloher and band arrived onstage breaking the sense of anticipation filling the room, replacing it with warmth and excitement. Many Cloher loyalists pushed up to the front. Tonight we had the infamous 'girl band' line up featuring the intimidatingly and exponentially internationalist Courtney Barnett, the handsome and hairy bass stylings of Bones Sloane and the longest member of the Jen Cloher experience thus far, drummer Jen Sholakis, who also drums in East Brunswick All Girls Choir.

Jen Cloher

This gig was an event, Courtney & Bones just back in the country from their non stop tour of world domination. “Great to have you back in the country!” exclaimed a punter. “Yep stick with me kiddo, you'll go places!”, Cloher retorted.

Cloher's albums are masterpieces to listen to but it is really her live shows where the music really translates. Starting with the confrontingly gut wrenching tale of 'Hold My Hand', this heart laid bare song delicately depicts the tale of Cloher's mothers battle with Alzheimers. The pace and earnestness of this song seems a strange choice to open gigs with, but it builds slowly and eventually ignites into a drum pounding, guitar shredding, throbbing heaviness of more than a mere exclamation point at the end of a story but fists in the air for the pain of that story having existed for Cloher. Tears already.

We quickly move straight into the sexy swagger of 'Mt Beauty', sneering lyrics over the unmistakable slacker swag stringwork of Barnett. 'Toothless Tiger' - always a fave. 'Stone Age Brain' performed sans Tim Rogers, but this song doesn't need his presence to survive live.

Jen Cloher

Cloher dipped into her back catalogue with 'Fear is Like A Forest' before returning to In Blood Memory taking the pace down with 'Kamikaze Origami', 'Needs' then amping it up with the icon referencing 'David Bowie Eyes'.

Barnett debuted her half of the seven inch with 'Swan St Swagger', a tale of spending your last tenner getting to The Corner Hotel in Richmond, to find it is sold out. Classic song with wry observations from Barnett. They then laid a hot new track 'Shoegazers' on us. Then the song that we were here to see - 'Needle In The Hay', as good live as the film clip promised. The guys came back onstage to give us the chugging pulse of 'Name In Lights', breaking down into that Troggs classic 'Wild Thing'. Dag chord progression and a power jam out.

Verdict?

Feeling Fucking Fulfilled.

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