After Lydia’s ‘farewell’ tour in Australia, their supposed last set of shows before their hiatus, fans thought they would never see the charming indie rockers again. However just under a year later Lydia was back with a brand new record titled Paint it Golden and a freshly announced Australian tour overflowing with dates.

Unfortunately Lydia’s main openers The Cavalcade as well as their good friends Elliot the Bull who had played on this tour extensively decided not to travel down to South Australia to play at Adelaide’s Enigma bar. Despite this, a good share of the four openers proved to the consistently growing crowd that there was some amazing talent there to get the crowd warmed up.

Among the four bands were local punks Ben David And The Banned, who showed us that three distorted guitars and a bass playing the same chords together can actually be used effectively; Canidae, who churned out some extremely tight and passionate post-rock sounds; and the Sunset Horrors, who after abusing the crowd efficiently during their banter still had time to play overdone ironic hardcore covers of 90s pop songs. The real runaways however were fresh pop rockers Something To Rescue. Each of the five members looked no older than high schoolers and even though it was their third show at a proper venue it seemed like they had the art of playing live perfected already.

Four bands later and the crowd was still as keen as ever for the headline act, even though it had just struck over to the next day before they had even started to set up Lydia’s gear. Anticipation rolled in soon after and the fans could already taste how intimate this show was going to be. There was no more than fifty centimeters of space between the eager front row and Leighton’s microphone stand which was placed on a stage no taller than thigh height.

Lydia seemed to come out of nowhere as they gently pushed through the crowd from behind in order to get up to their set. Smiles and excitement filled the entire room as they geared up and started to play “A Place Near the City” off of their third release Assailants. One of the absolute best things about seeing Lydia play is their ability to alter the feeling and the sound of any song they play live. This grew more evident throughout their act, particularly with “December”, one of their most acclaimed tracks off of their debut album. The nature of this song was transformed from a heart penetrating progressive song  into a gentle ballad-like piece which had remarkably retained its emotional intensity.

Even though this was the Paint it Golden tour, very few songs were plucked from the album and played live. The penultimate song played by the band was the one and only single from the new album “Dragging your Feet in the Mud” which did bring plenty of cheers from the crowd, but it seems that Lydia are still rooted to their second album Illuminate which had been released nearly four years ago as it held songs that took up nearly half of the set list.

The Paint it Golden tour had seemed to take a lot of energy out of primary member Leighton Antelman, but fans could easily see that the sweet smiles he gave to the crowd and humble passion that he brought on stage really showed that he wasn’t done giving all he could give to the people that support him and what he does.

– Tom Gaffney