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“It feels like a weird time for us to be playing The Opera House,” admits The Preatures front-woman Isabella Manfredi, “’cause we’re really just getting started.” In her thigh high black boots, short pinafore and pigtails, she’s got the rock n’ roll schoolgirl look down. “I mean, we’ve got one record and it goes for 35 minutes.” Be that as it may, tonight the Joan Sutherland Theatre holds a sold out crowd who are very happy to be there.
Let’s just say The Opera House is the kind of venue that inspires the choice of bubbles over the house white. Bums shuffle past knees amidst polite volleys of excuse mes, thank yous and the occasional spilt drink. It’s exciting to see a band like The Preatures outside their natural habitat of the bar and festival scene.
Not that they seem out of place in any way. While they launch right into things, with Somebody’s Talking, Manic Baby and Whatever You Want getting an early run, it’s the crowd that takes a little while to warm up and relax. A cover of the Divinyls Boys in Town does the trick as does a very seductive rendition of Rock And Roll Rave, complete with some impressive floor work from Isabella. After the sultry vocal performance on Threat, things have well and truly heated up.
In keeping with the Vivid theme of things, the lighting and backdrop are suitably trippy; with everything from a naked woman diving into a pool of waves, to lonely mountains, to old school party scenes. That’s if you can take your eyes off the band themselves.
Gideon Bensen (guitar and vocals), Thomas Champion (bass) and Luke Davison (drums) deliver an exceptionally tight performance. While Isabella and Jack Moffitt (guitar) share some great chemistry/dance offs throughout the night. She manages to take a break behind the keys for Two Tone Melody and Business, Yeh before showcasing a new song with a more acoustic vibe.
Ordinary, is very warmly received and It Gets Better has the less self-conscious up and out of their seats. At the persistence of Isabella, it’s all standing for a resounding chorus of “no way, get f**ked, f**k off” during her gutsy Angels cover of Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again. The crowd stays dancing for Is This How You Feel, before Take A Card and Cruel round off the encore.
Overall it’s one hell of a polished show complete with its fair share of frontwoman theatrics, quality banter, even a costume change. It can be tough to get an Opera House crowd on their feet, yet these guys had everyone cutting shapes down the aisles. So what’s next after a venue like this? Hell, maybe after their second album they should just go right ahead and book an arena tour.
Image: The Preatures @ Sydney Opera House 27/05/15 / Pic Maria Boyadgis