Words & Photography by Lexi Goodland
When you hear that an artist or band is playing a gig in the AMATA building of Falmouth University, I think a lot of people’s reactions are somewhat underwhelming. No one really expects that anyone worth seeing would play in a university teaching building. These people are wrong. Not only has the AMATA stage played host to the likes of Isaac Gracie and Billie Marten, just this last Saturday, it welcomed back ex Fal uni pop music students (and now on the rise pop duo) IDER.
I had been greatly anticipating this gig since November last year when I was lucky enough to interview Lily and Meg for an article I was writing, they were so open and welcoming on the phone and even more so in person. I was a big fan of their music even before then and the chance to see them perform live was not something I was going to pass up. From beginning to end, this gig was a display of some incredibly talented female musicians.
Twin act Mia Tuesday, who coincidentally are completing their final year on the same course that Lily and Meg met on, opened the evening with a stripped back set accompanied by guitarist James Scarle. Mia Tuesday were almost an acoustic parallel of IDER as they performed songs off their most recent EP ‘Shades of Blue’, and a few older tracks in their repertoire. Their slow speed chilled out performance showcased their complimenting harmonic voices and was the perfect kick start to the evening.
London newcomer Grand Pax took to the stage next, another talented duo fore fronted by a woman. This act was the perfect sandwich filler between the slow tempo, acoustic melodies of Mia Tuesday, and the upbeat, electric workings of IDER. A musical fusion of trip hop, R&B and shoegaze, Grand Pax filled the room with a dreamy, psychedelic like ambience. I guess the only criticism I’d have of their kind of float-through-the-song-approach was that the lyrics of the songs just blended together and I struggled to differentiate one word from the next, which was a shame.
The first thing I noticed when IDER came onto the stage was the true chemistry between the girls, something I hadn’t really seen in the previous acts. Throughout the entire set they maintained this vibe with each other of constant enjoyment and enthusiasm, always looking at each other and always smiling. It was refreshing to see that they weren’t just enjoying playing the set, but they were enjoying playing it together.
I was curious to see how the electronically produced sound of IDER would be recreated on stage. With the added use of a pre-made backing track for the more complex sounds, Lily and Meg each alternated between keyboard, guitar, and synth drums throughout the night to perform a number of their released singles including their break up anthem ‘Mirror’ and their newest track ‘Brown Sugar’, as well as a cover and a soon to be released single. As for their vocals: they were flawless. Both have incredibly powerful voices and remained tight with one another for the entire performance, despite the intricate harmonies their songs demanded from them.
Aside from their spectacular performance, their surprisingly comical stage presence was the most memorable aspect of the night. The girls were constantly engaging with the audience – something I personally always value from an artist – asking questions, telling stories from their university days, in particular, Lily recalled a time at uni, right before a performance, where Meg dropped her harmonica down the toilet. Meg wasn’t too impressed with the sharing of that story, but the audience loved it.
Meeting the girls after the show was the cherry on top of the evening, they were incredibly humble and down to earth and had all the time in the world to speak to anyone who wanted a chat. I truly hope and believe there are great things in store for IDER.
By Lexi Goodland