Pnau @ The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, Friday March 24, 2017.
It’s been too long between drinks with my old friends from Pnau.
The best way to describe Pnau live is that they are like a beautiful, spiritual dimmer switch – not because you can turn them down, but because they are always on, from the very first intoxicating beat at The Croxton on Friday night to the last sweaty drip off my elbow.
Opening with fan (my) favourite Wild Strawberries, it was clear that nostalgia was going to hold a very important place in the night’s proceedings. Nick Littlemore was as ethereal as always, but it was hard to take our eyes off the hypnotising Kira Divine who handled a fair chunk of the vocals, particularly on the as-yet-unheard new material. Like a well-oiled machine, the group eased their way through a heap of fresh tracks; each new cut arose impeccably from the one before, anchored by a dirty, thumping bass that seems to promise deep house vibes for the new record.
It was a busier stage than I was used to at a Pnau show. Littlemore and Peter Mayes were joined by producer/other Littlemore Sam, AKA Sam Lamore, as well as in-demand drummer Tim Commandeur and Divine (who features on the group’s latest single Chameleon, which made its way into the set about halfway through). While the new tracks were appreciated, the majority of the older crowd were there to hear the hits, and by the time Baby hit our ears The Croxton had become a heaving rave/sauna.
To deafening encore cheers, Mayes came screeching back out from side of stage to conclude the set with Embrace and sing-a-long No More Violence. His continuing, genuine delight in performing with the younger Littlemore, and the fresh thrill new member Littlemore the Elder brings, is hopefully a propitious peek into what will be the group’s sixth album – coming sometime this year.