It’s been over eight years since cult band Stereolab broke up, soon after their final tour of Australia.
For the first time since, band member Laetitia Sadier has returned to Australia with her new group Source Ensemble, with a small but excited audience to witness their first stop at Brisbane’s The Foundry (2 November).
Local synth-sorceress Seja opened with a set of dreamy, electronic pop. Seja mixed together bleeps and whirs from her various gadgets to back her light vocal melodies.
She described the crowd best when she looked from her stage and simply said: “Intimate.” But that was no problem for the performer, who decided to have fun by inviting local musician Adele Pickvance to the stage to press buttons while Seja played guitar and sang in German.
It was a fun divergence among dazzling tunes.
The audience grew slightly for Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble.
Laetitia has always been a cult concern, attracting a small fan base. But like all cult followings, they’re small but incredibly devoted, and Brisbane fans made the noise of a much larger crowd when the group came on stage.
Click here to read our recent interview with Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble.
Laetitia mentioned the band had arrived in Brisbane the day before after a flight from London.
Despite the no-doubt tiring journey, the band sounded delightfully chirpy from their opening ‘Undying Love For Humanity’. Beginning with a ticking Bossa Nova rhythm, the group added egg shakers, organ stabs and melodic basslines, with Laetitia’s distinctive coo breathing a lovely melody over it.
Most of the group’s set is taken from their eclectic new album ‘Find Me Finding You’, and it sounds as effortlessly cool live as on record.
Her backing band, the ‘Source-erors’ as she’s dubbed them, are incredibly tight. Rhythms change at the flip of a hat, like when the slow ‘Love Captive’ intermittently picks-up with a quirky organ from Xavi Munoz.
Closing song ‘Double Voice, Extra Voice’ proves a great showcase for Emmanuel Mario’s drumming, opening with tom thumps and morphing into a repetitive motorik beat perfect for a drive on the autobahn.
When Laetitia introduces the group’s new bassist Matthieu Beck, she joked to the crowd: “You can all join.”
Most of the crowd would surely jump at the offer, but it reflected the communal experience of the show. Rather than being here to watch Laetitia, she made it so we were here with her, making Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble a mesmerising experience.