While Camp Cope are taking over the world, we look back on their $5 show at Old Bar

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While Camp Cope are taking over the world, we look back on their $5 show at Old Bar


In the spirit of female empowerment, as per usual, Camp Cope delivered a set that was a bold middle finger to the social barriers that the band kick down at every opportunity. Songs like ‘Face of God’, ‘The Opener’ and ‘Keep Growing’ were goosebump-inducing live and are exactly what the world needs to hear as a blunt and to the point statement of exactly what is wrong with the male-dominated music industry. Camp Cope are doing everything but “riding coattails”, instead we’ll watch them ride into infinity.

Aside from their ability to beautifully enclose deeply relevant meaning within their songs, the band’s musicality is nothing to be scoffed at. Georgia Maq’s voice is as integral as it is honest, and as raw as it is passionate; despite her somewhat shy onstage persona, when she sings, not one song could even remotely be described as anti-climactic. Maq sings as though each song is being sung for the first time directly after the event that inspired it. It’s real and you feel the lyrics as if from personal experience. ‘The Opener’ was a crowd favourite and Camp Cope didn’t disappoint. The bass guitar – much like women in the music industry – is often underappreciated, but that intro brings the song to life the same way it does in Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ or Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’. Bassist Kelly-Dawn “Kel” Hellmrich has the ability to make magic out of a simple bass line, which can be one of the most underrated but striking elements in a song.

‘Face of God’ was heart-wrenching and eye-opening. Like most of the band’s music, it was incredibly honest and its message unmissable. It was also one of the songs in which Maq’s emotive voice really shone. ‘Anna’ was also a standout – a song which Maq often plays live acoustically but has only played a few times with the band. But the song which really stood out was ‘Sagan-Indiana’, which Maq insisted was going to be “really bad” but definitely wasn’t, it was actually really damn good. It had everything – a great groove to it, backed by drumming that came in at the perfect moments where the guitar paused and allowed for those tiny fillers, which truly make the song.

They finished the set with ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams’ another favourite from their self-titled album and one from their new album, ‘UFO Lighter’ which left the audience chanting “One more song.” Maq characteristically and laughingly asked to “Please respect my wishes” not to play another and end on a high note.

Not only did Camp Cope do justice to their music – new and old – they played it in a way that made the audience feel at home and at one with the band, which is unique and special in itself. Maq’s casual onstage demeanour created such a comfortable atmosphere that it was almost like watching a gig performed by your best friends. You would completely forget that outside of that bar Camp Cope are essentially experiencing the calm before the storm, because they’re ready to take over Melbourne’s music scene, if not the world.

As a trio they’re a no frills approach to rock. They’re real and they’re going far. And let’s not forget – this gig was only $5.