Clea @ The Junk Bar

Bright blue and beautiful

They say half the fun of going to The Junk Bar is trying to find it, which is a pretty spot on truth . Looking in from the outside, dingy velvet curtains concealed the tiny bar from view of the street, adding to the ethereal mystique of the room. When I entered it was clear the decor had been aptly selected to match the name of the bar - fairy lights, vintage rugs, fringed lamps and potted plants dotted the walls and cocktails were being passed out in a variety of mis matched glasses and jars.

Pool Shop, the solo side project of Jaimee Fryer from Brisbane band Major Leagues opened the night, with ambient, resonant guitar notes twinkling over glittery, looped chords. Her tunes were smooth; her voice rougher than I initially anticipated based on her pretty guitar tones, but still slipped over notes like water on rocks.  Whilst her set was only short, she seemed to take up all the time and space in the room, and I was surprised when I looked at my watch when she was finished to see the time was only 8:35.

The sold out room was full by the time Clea came on stage at 9, dressed innocuously in all black. Her voice, rich and full of movement, silenced the audience with the opening refrains of Polyester, the first song she released. Showing she's not just a "singer-songwriter" type, the band brought out some of the meatier songs in the set. Homesick, an unreleased song that I'd caught a couple times at previous Clea gigs encouraged some head bopping with its upbeat energy, and Positive Paradise was funky and mixed up the timbre of the set with some smooth synths. The contrast between her pretty vocals and ocker, blunt stage banter stopped the vibe from becoming too mellow - the unexpectedness kept me on my toes with my eyes glued to the stage. 

A brand new song not even her mum had heard went down without a hitch, and Dire Consequences was sultry and engaging. Introducing the final song of her set Bright Blue as 'the moment we've all been waiting for'  the catchy melodies got the remaining few punters to stand up, delivering a rapturous applause for a small venue. For her 'encore' song, she paid homage to the 50th anniversary of Sargent Pepper, and covered of A Day In The Life by The Beatles, putting a spin on the tune that added a different dimension to the original. Clea has a spark that's infectious, and is soon gonna be the name on everyone's lips.

Olivia Shoesmith

Zed Facts

Before 4ZZ could start broadcasting in 1975, a transmitter was ordered from the U.S. But after it was lost on the dock in New York, 4ZZ's chief engineer at the time Ross Dannecker built the station's first transmitter.