A 25 degree day with not a cloud in the sky, bevy in hand and awesome band playing. Welcome to summer on the surf coast thanks to The Torquay Hotel!
This month we’ve seen the venue host some awesome bands, but last week was touring veterans, The Beautiful Girls. I say veterans because it was back in 2001 that the band formed and released their first EP, Morning Sun. Three EP’s and five albums later and the band hasn’t lost any of its chilled out charm.
They were supported by local legends Sam Hanson and 10 High Fly, as well as acoustic reggae artist Bobby Alu. They were a perfect selection as they complimented The Beautiful Girls style perfectly, and I’m a personal fan of when local artists get support act spots.
By the time the band took to the stage, the sun was beginning to set and the crowd was warmed up perfectly, eager to soak up all The Beautiful Girls had in store. And they did not disappoint.
Lead singer Matt Mchugh was warm and open with the crowed as he crooned with his bluesy vocals over new and old tracks that showcased their blues and roots style, with “Periscopes” being the clear crowd favourite. Add in some epic guitar shredding and wails, and the band had the 800 strong sold out venue in the palm of their hands for their entire 90min set.
Aside from the John Mayer-essque guitar solos that had me weak at the knees, my personal highlight was hearing a new song by the band called, ‘A Beautiful World’. Matt introduced it with a vulnerability you don’t often see from bands by announcing that he had lost a close friend that week, and that the song was dedicated to him. He encouraged the crowd to “live it up, remembered that life is short and this moment is all we have. Enjoy the friends you have, and live every moment”. It was beautiful watching the crowd respond to his authenticity with a roar of cheers and encouragement for the grieving singer. The song was also stunning, so keep an eye out for it.
This was the second time I’ve seen The Beautiful Girls, the other being back in Townsville in 2007 when they supported The Cat Empire, and I can say with full confidence that 12 years later you can tell the band still love performing, connecting with their fans and sharing their music. It was such a joy to watch them and I’ll 100 per cent be there in the crowd next time they’re passing through.
Thanks for a ripper summer afternoon boys!
Torquay Hotel Summer Sessions
Sunday, 13 January 2019
Reviewed by Kim Cooper