On March 31st, McDermott & North took to the stage in Melbourne for one last show (for the time being) ahead of their move to the UK. The duo have only been down south for just over a year, after relocating from Queensland, to further their musical pursuits.
During this time the duo opened for the likes of Alex Lloyd, Grim Fawkner and Lachie Gill, along with headlining their own shows across the country. Before their move down south, the duo cut their teeth in Brisbane, quickly becoming local favourites.
Last year I was lucky enough to catch the pair open for Hollie Col, where they performed several unreleased songs. Since then, McDermott & North have released one single, ‘Elope,’ which followed their January 2022 release ‘All Things Come and Go.’
For their own headline show, the duo had not one but two openers with Baby Velvet and Art Department. The show will actually be Art Department’s debut under their new moniker after performing under 26 & Sunny for almost two years.
When Art Department came on stage at 8 PM, a small but very enthusiastic crowd had formed. Despite the band not having any music on streaming services, the audience seemed familiar with their songs, cheering loudly when ‘Angela’ was played.
As the set was nearing its close, frontman Randi Osborne declared that he was “going on smoko,” a left the stage as lead guitarist Maxwell Mitchell took vocals for a song. After Osborne returned, the band entered the “spooky” part of the set, before closing with their upcoming debut single, ‘Waterfall'.
Soon after, Baby Velvet (Hannah Croft) and her band came on stage to perform a more chilled-out set. Some may know Croft from the four-piece folk outfit All Our Exes Live in Texas and their stunning four-part harmonies.
The crowd boogied and swayed along to Croft’s calming voice, with occasional backing vocals from bassist James Gilligan. During the set, Croft admitted that she had been “really nervous” to play that evening, but was finding her time on stage “fucking delightful.”
Croft continued to keep it real for the crowd, discussing an ex who had dumped her, comically suggesting the crowd all text him after the show. If nothing else good came from the relationship, at least there was some brilliant songwriting in the aftermath.
McDermott & North appeared from the balcony, in their usual suited get-up. Whilst they often perform acoustic sets, this time the duo were accompanied by a full band, including bass, drums and keys.
Following on from ‘Everytime (I’m a Little Bit Like You)’ came ‘Pearly Whites,’ which the duo revealed would appear on their forthcoming EP. The crowd’s enthusiasm carried over to the performance of ‘Elope’, the most recent release from the group.
A series of unreleased tracks followed although they were likely familiar to those who had seen the band live before, including 'Money', 'I Love Your Way' and an untitled song with a chorus that sounds "too Christian" to be the song title ('Just Let Your Love Shine Down').
During this time, the band departed, leaving just Rhys and Paddy on stage for a more stripped-back set. The crowd swayed along before the tempo was brought back up (along with the band) during 'All Thing Come And Go'. This led into 'Georgia', another of the duo's more popular tracks.
McDermott and North treated attendees to even more unreleased tracks, including a very recent project, written by Paddy just a few weeks prior. During this song, Paddy took to the keys, further highlighting the duo's musical ability.
As the set came to a close, there was one more song on the tip of the audience’s tongue – ‘Ally’. The last time I saw the duo, I thought this song would be the perfect encore, and I think I was right. To date, the song is the band's most streamed track, which certainly helps when it is time for the crowd to sing along.
Set highlights: 'Telephone Lines', 'All Things Come And Go' and the "bouncy" track of the evening, 'Oxford Park'.
McDermott & North are playing one more farewell show in Victoria on the 8th of April at Gods Bandroom in Mornington. Tickets are only $10 and come with a free drink card! Purchase here.
For those outside Victoria, keep an eye out on Instagram for updates on their final shows before heading up north in July. There's something in their set for everyone, so bring a friend, grab and drink and enjoy the show!
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