Back You are here: Home Reviews Live Review: Mike Waters, Robbie Miller, Neighbour @ The Milk Factory, 08.10.2015

Live Review: Mike Waters, Robbie Miller, Neighbour @ The Milk Factory, 08.10.2015

“Two years ago I wrote my first song, and I was really embarrassed and didn’t want to show it to anyone, now I’m here touring my songs and yeah, it’s just really special.”The past 24 months has seen Mike Waters debut a single, release his first EP, secure a spot in Brisbane’s BIGSOUND showcase and land a track on high rotation on a German radio station, all of which is a big feat for someone who is still new to this writing music schtick. But after witnessing Waters’ piercing talent and beautiful melodies, it’s obvious why he’s gone so far in such little time. 

The intimate room of the Milk Factory sported an evening of acoustic bliss as Neighbour jumped out for a quick half hour of tight melodies and cyclical guitar. His Passenger-esque vocals accompanies impressive guitar work, swinging delicate yet catchy rhythms that resonated so beautifully in an acoustic forum. His joke filled stage presence loosened up a small, would-be-awkward crowd, showing an easily likeable, confidently quirky character.

Robbie Miller, Photo: Nick Robertson

The electronic infused acoustic Robbie Miller was next on the bill, packing a voice that could huff, puff and blow a whole crowd down. Miller’s brooding baritone blasted the small venue, flicking to a flying falsetto with no effort. It’s hard to ignore just how much power and soul can fit into the one voice. Backed by an electronic soundscape - thanks to Miller’s best mate Nathan Morrison - the pair have certainly created a catchy and powerful act, bringing all things good about a talented solo act, to heavy electronic layering. 

Then suddenly out pops the bright melodic guitar we came to hear. Opening with a new song, Mike Waters instantly turns a chatting bar crowd into a mesmerised audience. The headline spot sported tracks lifted off his debut EP ‘Life’, that had those fans scattered through the crowd singing along quite passionately, as well as plenty of new tunes. These fresh tracks make it glaringly obvious  that this man is certainly no one record wonder. There is plenty more to come. There is plenty more good things to come.

Daisy was a crowd favourite and one of his first released tracks. A gorgeous little number that draws you in with an addictive whistling hook, and catches you with a heart wrenching chorus. “Just don’t say you love me, cause I won’t say it back” is hard not to listen to and not want to throw your heart out the window and never love again, but then he starts whistling and smiling and for some reason you know everything is going to be ok. Waters’ crisp vocals is certainly a charm that you can’t go past. His vocals prances over every note without falter, even the whistling through the tracks was almost too perfect to be real. 

 

Mike Waters, Photo: Nick Robertson

Waters is so at home in the spotlight and with a cheeky grin across his face you can’t help but fall in love with such a genuine person. There is no act, no facade, no cloak and daggers in sight. It’s just a man opening up, telling you about his most personal stories. From his mother’s death, to unrequited love, to depression, Waters censors no insecurity. The surprising dark undertone creep up on you and you start to feel a tear draw to eye … but then he starts whistling and smiling and for some reason you know everything is going to be ok!

This honesty is a theme that flows through to the veins of Waters and makes him such a likeable character. Constantly thanking the audience for being there and opening up about each song before singing them. Waters has brought nothing more than his guitar, his powerful story telling and his impeccable voice, and that’s all he needs.

He walks a strange tightrope between bright summer songs and dark, sombre ballads but for some reason he is able to make a whole room of strangers feel so happy and heartbroken at the same moment. It was a very special and touching performance to say the least.

Dirty Bones is a new track that brought a fuller, more powerful track recounting fresh starts and new beginnings. Following his classic happy vs. sad schtick, Waters injected his story of learning to fit in with a tune that you just wanted to get up and dance to. Oh, and there’s another whistling solo to die for. 

Still Waters run deep, and taking a dip into the river of raw honesty and impeccable vocals was genuinely beautiful experience. It doesn't take much for Mike Waters to have you eating out of his palm, and with such an intimate venue Waters' talent truly shines. His first headline tour is almost over, but hopefully it won't be his last. So jump on the bandwagon, get along to a show and fall in love with music all over again. 

 

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