WORDS AND IMAGES BY THOMAS FREEMAN
Great Gable recently played at The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle to promote their 2020 debut album ‘Tracing Faces’. Supported by fellow WA band Supathick and Melbourne’s Velvet Bloom, it was a great night at the iconic venue filled with some of the band’s best music.
Their set opened with ‘Blur’, one of the singles and fan-favourites from the album, before going into the title track, ‘Tracing Faces’. It introduced the band really well and set the energy level in the room for the remainder of the show. Great Gable performed super well on the night, bringing strong dynamics between the various members and giving the crowd music that sounded pretty identical to their recorded releases. It was also really great to see the band play some of their older tracks too, including some songs from their 2016 EP ‘GG’ like ‘Taste’ and ‘Punga’, as well as slightly more recent hits like ‘Pillars’ from 2018.
The production on the night was also of a high quality, with the sound mix filling the room with their music for the crowd, especially for songs like ‘I Wonder’, ‘Only For You’ and ‘Cool Mind Blue’. The audience really got into the set and had a fantastic time seeing the band play here for the first time in a while. I also really loved the lighting on stage, as it really helped bring a lot of colour and vibrance for the band, as well as being an absolute treat for the eyes.
The set was full of a lot of big highlights as well. One stand-out moment for me was their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ from 1983. It was an unexpected cover that the audience really got grooving along to, and the band managed to make it their own. The other stand-out moment for me was their encore, where the band returned to the stage with two of their biggest hits: ‘Drift’ from 2016, and ‘All My Friends’ off their 2020 album. Everyone was really holding out to here these two tracks, and Great Gable absolutely delivered on them, closing the night in spectacular fashion.
Special mention is definitely needed for the support acts: Supathick and Velvet Bloom. Both artists really bought something different to The Cambridge Hotel, and they were both excellent for different reasons. Supathick bought a lot of pop-funk grooves to the stage, as well as a truly one-of-a-kind aesthetic with their outfits and super vibrant lighting. The chemistry between the band members was also pretty excellent, and Keely’s vocals and stage presence also really contributed to how good their performance was. Velvet Bloom also managed to captivate the whole room, even with it just being Maddy’s vocals and her guitar. Blending styles from neo-soul, alt-pop and indie rock, Velvet Bloom opened up the stage in spectacular fashion, especially with the lighting also contributing to the stellar performance from Maddy. Whether people in the crowd were familiar with these artists prior to the night, I can pretty much guarantee that they definitely know them and listen to them a lot more now.
Overall, this was a pretty fantastic show from all three artists on the night. It was so wonderful for Great Gable to finally tour their debut album across Australia, and especially that they were able to play in Newcastle. Everything from the lighting, sound, performance and everything in between was simply just top-notch. Both Supathick and Velvet Bloom were excellent support acts, and I can’t wait for all of these artists to play again in Newcastle soon.