Split Seconds, The Standard, Friday 31 August

REVIEW

Split Seconds, The Standard, Friday 31 August

Leighton Beach , 3 December 2011
It’s a cold, blustery night and The Standard with its chain link walls and high ceiling is far from cosy. For such an industrial set up The Standard is relatively relaxed, everything you order comes in plastic cups and the ladies bathroom is fondly referred to as the ‘Sheilas’, which is where I happen to be in when Penelope Austin starts up.

This girl is remarkable. Her first note is a big one and it spurs me to bolt from the bathroom. With her sheer dress backlit by soft blue lights, a single spotlight highlighting her long golden hair, and a voice that rouses your soul, Austin looks and sounds like an angel. Her cover of Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Games’, results in crowd-wide goose bumps and a collective calm, her presence and voice dominating the cavernous space.

The magic of Austin begins to wear off though, as over 20-minutes passes between her and the Griswolds. Their pop-rock tunes are at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Austin and the Split Seconds, creating a slight disconnect in the night. Their overall performance is a little unpolished, but the boisterous and lively style matches their curly mullets and floral jeans well. They also induce some terrible dancing and Friday night sees some mums and dads with some truly strange moves. These guys will fit in beautifully at Parklife though, so if you’re heading there don’t forget to check out this merry band.

There’s plenty of time to chat and enjoy one too many drinks before the Split Seconds officially launch their new album, You’ll turn into Me. And when Sean Pollard finally steps up to introduce the band, the crowd’s chatter hasn’t died down. Instead of engaging in the usual bashing of drums and cranking of guitars to gain attention, they softly glide into ‘Bed Down’, a rare move by any headliner. The Standard may as well be shrunk to a fifth of its size and three quarters of the people removed, because the Split Seconds masterfully create an intimate atmosphere with the audience. With each passing song, I relax against the wall a little more as the gentle guitars, pared back drums, light keyboard and beautiful vocals wash over the crowd. The charm of this Perth band lies in their unpretentious, easy listening sound. Something we can perfectly recommend with all the upcoming lazy, spring Sundays.

WORDS: Sarah Tillbrook

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