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Live from home in Byron Bay – via Facebook, April 30

Maybe a bit early?

I don’t mean the time: come the new post-virus world, a 6pm start ala the Japanese may not seem that extreme anymore when any gig will do. But for The Buckleys, a sibling trio from Byron Bay with three singles available and a debut album still some months away, maybe there isn’t quite enough there yet for an actual show, at home or at a venue.

Talented as they are – Sarah is a charismatic star in waiting and songwriter of promise; Molly can swing between instruments and harmonise better than shown in the limited sound of this show; Lachlan is a very capable player whose fondness for the double-necked guitar is either boldly anachronistic or a sign of watching far too many ‘70s-themed Rage specials – playing around 45 minutes with three or four original songs isn’t really enough.

Especially not when those originals found them at their best. Money, a rock song with a bit of surf twang shows the strong hand of Nashville-based Australian writer Phil Barton in its solid frame. Daydream, another Barton co-write with Sarah, is aspirational pop/rock Keith Urban would enjoy but probably not sell as well as she does, and Breathe, the title track of their debut, seems built for American radio, and stardom.

Next to them, the we’re-having-fun run of songs by Prince (a personable but unfunky Kiss), Stevie Nicks (Edge Of Seventeen proving a bit beyond Sarah vocally for now), Beatles (Revolution, lacking either edge or groove) and others from 5 Seconds Of Summer, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Harry Styles and Joni Mitchell saw little added to their existing quality except the feel of an end-of-year school performance by the talented Year 12 band.

Credit to the family enterprise – which saw their younger brother and father share drumming duties and occasional roadie work, and their mother on backing vocals for one song – as the backdrop and lights looked impressive and the mood was loose and homespun. Working from home was working just fine here. Working with their own material will be better still.

A version of this review was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald


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