An eager and excited crowd packed into The Gasometer on Saturday night to witness everyone’s favourite avant-pop outfit, Dear Plastic, launch their debut album, The Thieves Are Babes, with help from special guests Beloved Elk.

The duo of Amy Wright and Tina Nguyen, aka Beloved Elk, were already on stage when I arrived and, unfortunately, well and truly through their set. As Wright stood out front on guitar and vocals, Nguyen mutlitasked up the back playing synth and drums, while also adding a layer of vocals. As they finished what was their second last track Wright asked the crowd “How was that? Nice and mysterious?” and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe their sound.

When it came time for the headliners to take the stage, the crowd packed onto the dancefloor, and around the railings of the mezzanine. The excitement in the audience clearly fed back onto the stage, with singer Scarlette Baccini being obviously impressed by the level of support. Dear Plastic’s usual lineup of 5 was expanded to 9 with the addition of a three piece horn section and vibraphones and right from opener ‘Memo’ the extra layers created a wonderfully decadent experience.

The setlist was based on the tracklist of the new album, and the energy was well balanced throughout, peaking in just the right places. It was disappointing to notice that Scarlette’s vocals often became lost in the layers of synth but it wasn’t a significant stain on the performance. Anthemic second last track ‘Ghost of a Better Place’ was a set highlight, with both Scarlette and the horn section belting and really bringing The Gasometer alive. Like every time I’ve seen them before, they brought the set to a beautiful close with their debut single ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ which resonated well after the final note.

Wes Fahey

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