George Maple: Australia’s Next Big Thing

It was a peculiar realisation I had on Thursday night – as George Maple stopped singing to let the entire crowd in Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge take over lead vocals for her song, Talk Talk, we would never see her in a venue like this again.

Joined by Moon Holiday, these two ladies were two I had waited a long time to finally see in action. How unfortunate it was then, that Moon Holiday’s pounding electronica, involving countless loops, her beautiful voice and thumping bass, was lost over the incessant chatter from a crowd probably not used to going to gigs and therefore unfamiliar with gig etiquette. Now, I’m not overreacting – we all talk during gigs, myself included. I have the attention span of about 4 seconds, so believe me, my mind wanders. But this was something else. It was such a shame, as the cackling and carrying on from my fellow punters clearly began to get to the one-woman-band, who was predominately hidden behind her set up already. Some songs didn’t sound quite right, the back beat slightly off, or the drop not quite where it should be. Although her newer tracks, including current single Prince, hit the spot, this was definitely more of a learning experience for Moon Holiday. I have every confidence that by the next time I see her, it will be a very different performance, and one I can’t wait to witness.

The floor was literally heaving by the time George Maple took to the stage. Flanked by a drummer on one side, and none other than Touch Sensitive on the other side, it was off and running from the first note of opening song, Fixed. From there, it was hit after hit, with Maple so composed in the face of the sold out crowd. She was grateful and engaging, flawlessly performing songs old and new. That’s probably the best word to sum up her performance – flawless. There was literally nothing wrong with her show.

As we got further into her hour set, I realised she really is a natural star, and one that will shine bright for quite some time to come. She effortlessly navigated her way through her setlist, showcasing her vocal range, charisma and charm, all the while remaining sweet and excited, thanking the audience multiple times for their love. From the pounding Flume collab Vacant Space, to the What So Not collaboration Gemini, the sounds she was working with spanned many genres, showing just how versatile she is. As the crowd continued to sing back her lyrics, she swayed and moved with the music, feeling every second of it along with us. The excitement was palpable as she showed off her new material, showing incredible promise for what is still to come from the singer Рthese new tracks could not come soon enough.

The calibre of George Maple’s live show is far beyond the 300 capacity venue we were in, and it will not be long at all before this is realised by many others. The finale of her biggest track, Talk Talk merely reiterated just how she sold out her shows for this tour, and firmly cemented herself as a worthy recipient of the title “Australia’s Next Big Thing”.