Abbe May at GoodGod in Sydney
I fell in love with Perth rock chick Abbe May after hearing the dark, sexy and commanding sounds of her early singles Design Desire and Mammalian Locomotion. She rocks out on the bass guitar, seducing the listener with her ‘don’t-give-a-fuck’ attitude and cheeky lyrics.
However, when Abbe May took the stage at GoodGod Small Club to launch her new single, Karmageddon, there was disappointingly no guitar in hand. Instead her white T-shirt clad (they were a bit boy band gone wrong) three-piece band handled the accompaniment. It left Abbe free to flaunt her gorgeous gold see-through top while cooing into the microphone. Cooing? Yep. And ohhhhing and ahhhhhhing. Not the hard hitting lyrics that I was expecting. The majority of the set was made up of less vocal-focused songs with a big electronic influence. And as if to compensate in some way, the bass was turned up way too loud. It distorted the sound and even made my ear-plugged ears ache. I wanted to hear more of Abbe and less of the low frequency room vibrations, especially in the cavernous GoodGod venue where the sound rebounded off the walls.
The song Karmagedeon was definitely the highlight of the gig. It was the second-last song and a most welcome return to the sinister, grungey feel that I associate with Abbe May.
Abbe has such a great rock voice and an amazing stage presence, but this gig wasn’t as good as I had hoped. While the crowd shuffle danced through the set, clearly enjoying themselves, I couldn’t help think that Abbe May’s power and command of the music would have shone through so much more if the other elements were toned down a fraction.
Review by Harriet Cheney