THE TOFF IN TOWN
Within seconds of the red curtain parting the band everyone is here to see boldly kick off their set with previous single and Triple J fave Painter. Tessa and the Typecast (TTT, an acronym that is wholly theirs since Tic Toc Tokyo split) hammer out their jazz-infused indie pop with an authority rare for a band still in its infancy.
Having recently lost cellist and vocalist Natalie Foster to the equally worthy Tully and the Thief, and replaced her with new cellist Lauren Meath, TTT are on better form than ever. Tessa (Pavilach) leads the band through writhing set that finds time to highlight the talent of each member without straying from the song. Dressed in a turquoise skirt with a crimson top and matching flower on her head, Pavilach’s bold fashion choices are mirrored in the front rows: dancing girls in long dresses, pashing couples and fixated beverage-clasping fans.
The venue is packed, testimony to the gigging schedule the band have put themselves through over the last 18 months, beating a path from their native Ballarat through most small and medium sized venues in Melbourne to tonight’s emphatic single launch. B-side From Here follows and sets the warmly expressive tone for many of their subsequent songs. Pavilach’s rich, rasping voice, dextrous yet minimal lead from guitarist Pat Morgan and entwining cello and bass parts fill the songs beautifully, driving them in unexpected directions before returning to deceptively simple hooks. Sections swell, dynamics change quickly and the playing is as tight as their 40-minute set. New songs Machines and the epic Shipwreck show that they’re taking the songwriting risks they need to. Capable of shutting the audience up with a drop in volume and causing raucous singalongs with the older tracks, this is a young band already in control.
Closing with the song they’re here to launch, the stunning Straight on ‘til Morning, TTT blaze through it with precision, passion, a killer chorus and a bubble cannon before inviting us back to their house for the after-party. It’s a hard set to fault. As with the career trajectory of most quirky singers in Australia, Pavilach is likely to turn a small but ardent following into an obsessive fanbase within an album or two. If this show is anything to go by she may not be able to offer that after-party invite for much longer.