During the bus ride to the Estonian House, a girl in a ladybug red coat and polished Dr Martens asks the driver where her stop actually is. As she walks up the footpath, her steps are slow and short until she is brought before two stone pillars illuminated. She dashes inside the building whose entryway they guard. I don’t blame her for the lack of confidence, after all, West Brunswick looks more like a localised Norman Rockwell painting than anything. On the footpath is a chalk scribble from one of the neighbourhood kids, a single couple sit inside a fish and chip shop on the corner of the street. This hardly seems like the place for a trendy experimental theatre, but the building before me spits in the face of that thought.

Behind the stage a screen towers above the action. The crowd, a testament to how fantastic absolutely everyone looks in high waisted anything, form the most stylish wall in Melbourne. I take one of the few seats at the back. Next to me a sign advertises food truck style hot dogs. The room glows a gorgeous pink as if it is in the presence of a permeant sunset. A man walks past carrying one of the hot dogs. I find myself wishing my wallet was a bit heavier than bus fare and a (currently useless) debit card. The screen takes the form of a pudgy flat–faced cat wrapped in a feather boa. I find myself wondering why bands even have logos anymore when there is the option of cute cats as stage backgrounds.

Pearls come out rather unceremoniously considering the grandeur and spectacle of the rest of the night. The chatter doesn’t stop as the grimy guitar oozes across the floor. With their decadent 70s aesthetic it’s no surprised that they feel at home here, the bass lazily bouncing off the walls as Caesar moans about women and the finer points of self-loathing. Halfway through the set they announce a cover song, but without the luxury of previously knowing the lyrics, the reverb soaked words are unintelligible. A girl next to me has her eyes half closed and is nodding to the beat, resounding from drummer Ellice Blakeney. As the sneering ‘Big Shot’ starts to play I join her. It truly is hypnotic.

Outside the blasting noise and find themselves complemented by the near midnight traffic, adding their own spin to the night’s proceedings. The lights on the Estonian House shine brighter than any other on Melville Rd that night, its doors stretched out reaching for the public as if it had never stopped. Back to business again.

Bee Spence


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