REVIEW: Alex Lahey, 48 Watt Street, October 4

KICK OFF: Alex Lahey began her I Love You Like A Brother album tour in fine form at 48 Watt Street. Pictures: Josh Leeson
KICK OFF: Alex Lahey began her I Love You Like A Brother album tour in fine form at 48 Watt Street. Pictures: Josh Leeson

SADLY you got the feeling on Wednesday night that this might be the last chance to see Alex Lahey in such an intimate Newcastle venue.

This girl is going places.

Held two days before Lahey released her excellent debut album I Love You Like A Brother, the performance kicked off a mammoth tour that will take the 25-year-old from Melbourne across Australia, through Europe and finally to North America before Christmas.

Joining Lahey for the Australia tour is Sydney rock-revivalist Joe Jackson, who performs under the name Sloan Peterson.

It was an inspired choice. Don’t expect Peterson to be playing too many more support tours. With tracks like Rats and I Want You in her arsenal, Peterson has some serious tunes and the stage presence to enthrall an audience.

IMPRESSIVE: Success is likely to come for Sydney's Sloan Peterson.

IMPRESSIVE: Success is likely to come for Sydney's Sloan Peterson.

Lahey’s decision to begin the most important tour of her burgeoning career in a former Newcastle church wasn’t accidental.

“It’s nice to be in the real capital of New South Wales,” Lahey said after opening with a frantic Every Day’s The Weekend.

More love was coming.

“You know that joke on Facebook when people ask you to come to Brazil? Mine is always people asking me to come to Newcastle.”

Dressed in an open flannelette shirt and a Little Richard t-shirt, there’s no rock star posing with Lahey. She’s completely ordinary and relatable to her audience. She’s a girl who’d be cool to share a beer and laugh with.

Lahey was doing plenty of laughing on stage too. Whether it was telling stories about guessing the price of the cheapest cleanskin wines while working at a video shop in her teens or asking if there were any fellow arts students in the crowd.

“We’re all f—ked together,” she said.

There were nerves as she and her three male bandmates performed Awkward Exchange and Let’s Call It A Day for the first time publicly, but you could literally see the confidence growing on stage.

ROCKING OUT: Alex Lahey's cover of Torn breathed fresh life into the 1997 hit.

ROCKING OUT: Alex Lahey's cover of Torn breathed fresh life into the 1997 hit.

Lahey’s brand of indie pop is hardly groundbreaking. She sticks to power chords and traditional arrangements, but she executes melody and conversational lyrics expertly through her sweet vocal.

A fast-paced cover of Torn, made famous by Australian pop star Natalie Imbruglia was a pleasant surprise, which had the majority of the early 20s crowd singing along.

For the encore Lahey delivered her two most recognisable pop songs in Let’s Go Out and You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me from her EP B-Grade University to send the crowd home in raptures.

Yep, this girl is going places.