After the shock decision to call it a day, The Beautiful Girls set out on a mammoth tour of Australia landing them in the Nation’s capital last Thursday night. I hadn’t anticipated a huge crowd but was pleasantly surprised entering the doors to the upstairs function room of the Hellenic Club to find 350+ revellers dancing, drinking and soaking up the cool acoustic tunes of The Beautiful Girls.
The set was divided into two parts – reflecting their decade long time span in the industry. They started out with a pleasant acoustic set, performing old favourites and warming up the crowd. This was followed by a 2nd set, plugged in, electric and upbeat.
Matt McHugh was brilliant, leading TBG through each song, telling stories from their beginnings to where they are today, and their future endeavours. He received enormous applaud after telling everyone to “Drink a beer, smoke a joint, look like a fool. You only live once!” The majority of the crowd seemed to be genuine fans, there to send off a band they clearly enjoyed and cared for. Egos were pushed aside as bodies flailed wildly around the dance floor dance.
The band was backed up by a sax and trumpet player, giving a Ska feel to the already reggae, soul music. It was fun, hip, entertaining, and the crowd were lapping up every second. After 15 songs you’d surely have thought the concert-goers would be well and truly buggered. But as the gang walked off stage, the cries for ‘ENCORE’ could even be heard by the seniors downstairs on the Pokies.
After a few more songs, each member of the band rocked out a quick solo, sending the crowd into a frenzy. It was sad to see such a talented, clearly-loved band playing so well, and knowing this would be one of the last times they’d ever share the stage together. Charismatic front man Matt McHugh thanked the crowd for their support before closing the night perfectly with ‘La Mar (Ocean)’ from the album ‘Learn Yourself’.
The Beautiful Girls put on a show to remember, and I don’t think there was one person in that room who didn’t enjoy the show that the lads put on for everyone.
Photography by Robbie Parker