11 February 2013

Music review: Miles and Simone

Miles and Simone
Valentine's tour
9 Feb 2013
Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne
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I've had a bit of a crush on Miles and Simone since they released their first CD, Home in Your Heart, last year, but on Saturday I watched a full Spiegeltent fall completely in love with this too gorgeous Melbourne duo.

Simone Page Jones wears an extra frilly dress with a floral print, red tulle and black tassels. She bought it in Barcelona in the hope that one day she'd wear it in the Spiegeltent. The only thing stopping her from floating off the stage in happiness is the the grounding influence of Miles O'Neil, who (even with fluffy ginger thighs) continues to re-define hipster op-shop style with a cream jacket that makes the 60s Vegas Rat Pack look uncool.

And they sing.

A Black Velvet cocktail has a base of rich stout that's topped with a crisp and sweet fizz and served in a curvy flute.  I have no idea how anyone thought these drinks should mix and make something quite perfect, but they do and it's like how Miles's chocolaty deep voice sounds so unexpectedly perfect with Simone's clear and sparkling sound – which isn't a like posh and over-priced Champagne, but more like a far better local wine with the kind of light sparkle that makes you smile with every sip.

Photo by Leila Koren

They talk like best friends and share stories about their songs with their besotted audience and each other, and I hope that they never lose the ability to surprise each other on stage. There's a song about a holiday in Apollo Bay, one set in a Fitzroy pub, songs about loves lost or run from, and now that I know Simone's song "Birdy" is about the galah that sits chained to a stand in a Bourke Street tobacco shop, I don't think I can listen without making sure that I go and give that bird a scratch.

With just Miles's guitar, their music is a little bit country, but with a loving and gentle sound that feels like they wrote them on an inner-city patch of grass on a perfect warm day. They remind me of the early 90s duets by the UK's The Beautiful South and their reminiscing tone is almost like The Go-Betweens "Cattle and Cane".

I took a friend who after two songs turned to me and said, "Do they have a CD? They're sublime." What more can I say. Miles and Simone are sublime.

You can buy Home in Your Heart here and they are launching the album in Sydney on Tuesday night at 8.30 at 107 Projects in Redfern (tickets at the door) and in Brisbane on Wednesday at 9.30 at the Brisbane Powerhouse (free).

More photos by Leila Koren

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