REVIEW: D at Sea & Millie Tizzard @ Tall Poppy Studios 18.01.14

summer chillsOriginally from the Sunshine Coast, D at Sea, also known as Doyle Perez, first shot to fame in late 2011 following the release of his acoustic cover of Parkway Drive’s ‘Carrion’ on YouTube. The cover went viral across the globe and currently has over 1 million views. In recent years, D at Sea’s loyal gathering of fans has lead him to a signing with We Are Unified record label, and things only seem to be escalating since the release of his debut EP Unconscious last year. On January 18th, I made my way to Tall Poppy Studios in Brisbane for the second show of his massive 17 date Summer Chills tour. With the support of the beautiful Millie Tizzard, it was set to be an amazing night.

I personally enjoy the simple things in life, which is probably why this gig has been the most memorable that I’ve been to over the last few months. The venue was small. The ground, cement. The aircon, non existent. There was no alcohol being served and barely any chairs. Simple fairy lights were hung unevenly yet gracefully, before big bright spotlights ignited the room. And yet somehow, it all seemed so endearing. The room was filled with people who couldn’t care less what the venue looked like, how hot and sweaty everyone was, or the fact that we had to sit on the ground in order for everyone to be able to see the stage. Rather, it was filled with people who were genuinely only there to support the artists and hear great music.

Photo: Grace Robinson Photography

Photo: Grace Robinson Photography

A very humble and innocent Millie Tizzard was first on for the night and her warm, sincere presence was blissfully greeted by the entire audience. Millie began her set by sharing her gratitude and thanks with the crowd, saying that she couldn’t believe this was the second show of the tour, and that both had been sold out. She played a bunch of new songs which she hasn’t officially released yet, and although the crowd couldn’t sing along to many of her new tracks, they were still very well received as the set list was full of beautifully written and relatable lyrics. Millie made an effort to briefly explain the backstories of each song, which allowed us to better understand the heartfelt emotion behind each track. It’s one thing to be able to take a song and interpret it in any way it makes you feel, but it’s always a different experience when an artist explains the story behind what made them write it.

With her effortless guitar skills and alluring tones, Millie had me captivated for her entire set. I did have a few favourites however including ‘Ain’t It Just Like Love’ featuring lyrics like “ain’t it just like hope to let you give in”, and ‘Wildfire’ which is about the strong people in your life who are always there when you need them. I wish I could share them with you all but unfortunately none of Millie’s new stuff is available for purchase yet.. however be sure to check out one of her oldies “On Paper Seas’ below to get an idea of what to expect from her EP coming in the new future.

After a long awaited entrance to the stage, D at Sea instantly had the audience under his command. Doyle has a way of making everybody feel relaxed and chill. The first sign of this was by suggesting everybody sat to get more comfortable, and even offered for people to sit on the stage with him since there wasn’t enough room on the floor – an offer which was excitedly accepted by many. Sitting cross legged, the crowd would either sing along and echo his calls, or sit in complete silence as he poured his heart out through his lyrics; his powerful yet gentle tones creating a juxtaposition of dynamics.

Doyle began his set with the title track from his EP, ‘Unconscious’ and instantly had the crowd engaged. He also took it back to where it all began with his cover of ‘Carrion’ and strayed from his set list for a crowd request of The Amity Affliction’s ‘RIP Bon’. In the lead up to the Summer Chills tour he released a few new tracks which he also played on the night including ‘Memories’, ‘Forever Alone’ and his newest single ‘Lover, Liar’, all of which you can find on his YouTube channel here.

“Sometimes we think too much,
and we feel too little.”

After spending two hours in a pool of sweat, the words ‘mosh pit’ were mentioned and I began to search for the quickest exit route. But before I knew it, Doyle had split the crowd down the middle and everyone had moved to each side of the room. Then suddenly, the most unexpected thing happened. With Doyle gently strumming in the background, everyone walked from one side of the room to the other, hugging everyone they passed on the way. Doyle had executed his infamous ‘wall of hugs’ and made a room full of strangers hug and smile. And at risk of sounding ridiculously sentimental, it was oh so touching. Disgustingly hot and sweaty mind you, but touching nonetheless.

Photo: Matthew Mollison Photography

Photo: Matthew Mollison Photography

Young people are to relatable to both Millie and D at Sea’s music, which is why I think they’ve both been able to gather such a loyal following. Their lyrics often tell stories of hardships experienced by many young people these days; breakups, losing friends, the constant pursuit for happiness, and the ups & downs of life in general. And although their songs may sometimes have a despairing nature, Doyle and Millie both manage to convey a sense of hope. Another endearing trait is that there is nothing over-produced, forced or egotistic about these two. Instead, they are just two genuinely kind people who are there to share their stories, and on many occasions have mentioned how thankful they are to everybody for allowing them to do what makes them happy. There is a sense of shear honesty that exudes from not only their songs, but their presence in general, and that’s fast becoming a rarity in music these days.

The overall chill atmosphere of the night was by far my favourite aspect of the gig. It literally felt like a bunch of friends just hanging out in someone’s garage, with little elements like Millie and Doyle both sharing the stories behind their lyrics, Doyle acknowledging the crowd for getting him through the tough times in his life and the fact that they are both just utterly beautiful and humble people bringing the whole night together perfectly. This gig was just another showcase of the amazing talent coming out of Brisbane at the moment and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for these guys. Be sure to keep up to date with both Millie Tizzard and D at Sea on their Facebook pages as they’ve got a lot of new stuff coming soon!

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