When it’s a Saturday night and the weather is hell-bent on freezing everything in its path, what is better than going to see a band, having a bit of a dance and warming up? Well, there is better: going to Jive for the single launch of a compelling psychedelic-rock band on the cusp of stardom, with two equally stunning back-up bands.

Welcome to Lady Strangelove.

Before falling into raptures though, it must be said that this is the kind of band that it does not pay to look up first to listen to the tracks available on their website. Lady Strangelove is about more than the audio; they must be seen to really be experienced.

Opening the night was The Rules, a new local band with their own dedicated and growing following. When disaster struck in the form of guitarist Adrian Zammit busting a couple of strings, they showed true showmanship in rocking on, with a Lady Strangelove guitar in place.

Next up was Like Leaves. When Juliet Hunter pulled out her violin, it was clear that this was not your run-of-the-mill rock band. It was apparent that when she closed her eyes to sing she really meant it. With their almost heartbreakingly fervent sound, they were the perfect lead-up to the main act.

On came the band members, with a video mash-up projected onto the screen behind them. There were rumours that this would feature a clip from Disney’s Dumbo (the one with all the trippy pink elephants floating around) and the crowd was not disappointed. Also including some beautifully recoloured clips from a couple of Hayao Miyazaki films, this visual montage really made the event more than just a gig – it was an experience.

From the moment the band started with their first piece, ‘Devil Inside’, there was a real atmosphere in the room. It did not take long for the audience to start swaying and pulsing like seaweed in the ocean, and drummer Fox Faehrmann’s shirt to come off – this is psychedelia after all.

In the interests of fair and balanced reporting, there were some audio hiccups. But who really cares but the pedantic? They would have been too busy at home arranging their socks to come to this gig anyway.

The band was in fine form the entire night, showing a belief in and enthusiasm for their craft. Their penultimate offering was no exception, the song for which we had all come out: their new single, ‘Sweet Exchange’.

As if this all wasn’t enough for a memorable night, there was one final pièce de resistance that must be mentioned. Guitarist Josh Van Looy’s amazing, amazing hair. Such luxurious curls must be seen to be believed.

–       Serrin Prior