Review: Alex Lahey – Black Box, Belfast
Alex Lahey, one of Australia’s most exciting emerging talents, travelled halfway across the world to perform at the Black Box in Belfast during her headline UK tour following the success of her 2017 debut album, ‘I Love You Like A Brother’, which has garnered praise from fans and critics alike.
The night opened with a solo set from the garage pop outfit Lazy Day, with front-woman Tilly Scantlebury performing a rare show without her full band.
The London based artist performed an incredibly captivating set which was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. The songs seemed massively suited to the stripped back style in which they were performed, which showcased her raw talent. At the end of the set, Tilly claimed that she enjoyed playing the songs as they were originally written and that it was a great experience to play in front of such a receptive crowd. This feeling was reciprocated by the crowd who enjoyed a massively impressive support act. If the full band show is as enjoyable an experience as the solo, it is clear that Lazy Day will go on to big things, and hopefully will return to Belfast in the near future.
Much of the crowd, who had been seated throughout Lazy Day’s set, began to make their way towards the stage as the anticipation for the headline act began. Alex and her band took to the stage and belted out the title track from her album, immediately setting an energy which would be maintained throughout the rest of the show.
Album tracks such as ‘Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder’ and ‘Awkward Exchange’ illustrated early on Lahey’s ability to write anthemic and catchy indie rock songs with chorus’ designed to have the crowd singing along. The lyrics of the songs are both honest and witty, making each track exceptionally likeable.
A personal highlight of the set was album track ‘Backpack’ which slowed the pace down somewhat, but still maintains a lot of the qualities which make Alex Lahey what she is. As well as this, the leading single from her debut EP ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’ is another incredibly likeable, self deprecating anthem which has drawn comparisons to fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett.
The best moments of the set could be seen as coming with Lahey’s two most well known singles, ‘Everyday’s The Weekend’ and ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’, the former being a relentless and infectious indie pop song, with a chorus you’ll be singing along to after just one listen.
This song encapsulated the energy of the set, with the crowd joining in with each ‘whoa-oh’. The latter, ’I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’, a high energy track with slightly more pessimistic and emotional lyrics than much of the set, despite keeping much of Lahey’s signature humour and upbeat tempo. This contrast works incredibly effectively and made it the perfect track to end the night.
Following the show, it was clear to see why Alex Lahey has cemented herself as one of the most exciting names on the thriving Australian music scene. With much of the setlist coming from her debut album, it will be massively exciting to follow her progress with later releases. If her current discography is anything to go by, she should have a career packed with catchy indie rock anthems and it is unlikely there will be many more opportunities to see her in such an intimate venue.