LIVE: Thelma Plum, James Crooks, Kayex @ Plan B Small Club, Sydney, 17th Jun

Energetic electronics open up for a spectacular Thelma Plum show

Kayex claim, dubiously, to have driven here from Perth tonight to open for Thelma Plum, but – given I’m a big hairy old punk – their electronic fun show might as well have been beamed in from Mars. This is where I make my usual disclaimer that I am singularly unqualified to pass judgement on acts that go bleep, given my shocking lack of knowledge. Their second tune of the night though is totally brilliant, a bouncy little madhouse, and sets the tone of their set, grinning, dancing and all-round glee. Party? Started.

Sydney fella James Crooks is basically a drummer who patently got fed up with being at the back of the stage. So, naturally, he programmed a lot of machines and got himself to the front of the stage, but decided to keep the drums while he was at it. He flails and thumps while twiddling knobs and triggering exciting things and occasionally singing. While this – sans drums – would be standard bedroom electro, the madcap live drumming add this totally bonkers vibe to the thing, sending blood in all sorts of directions and generally amping the place up to maximum. Single “Naturally” and British India cover “I Said I’m Sorry” are both great fun. It’s like a pounding and rapid heartbeat sounding in your ears, and it’s kinda crazed. Enjoyed.

Thelma Plum is touring for the first time after concentrating on writing, but there’s no diminished appetite from the audience, the venue is packed solid. The love for Plum is tangible, from the opening full-band joy of dance-starter “Dollar” to the belting simplicity of Plum alone on a guitar it’s nothing short of totally bloody spectacular. She opens up the stage chat by claiming to be “really fucking nervous”, but that’s hard to believe – there can’t be many songwriters around today dropping tunes that sound this confident. This is Thelma Plum reaching new heights – get ready.


Thelma Plum


James Crooks