The opening night of The Jungle Giants Tuss Tour was certaintly one that I am not going to forget in a while. This is in part because of a sweet line-up of music, and part because it made me question whether mid-twenties males are allowed to like indie pop. (After careful consideration, and the way I bopped along during the night, I decided it was ok).
We got there just after Shortstraw finished, and based off the yells and screams of the crowd, they must have done a pretty good job. However, its always hard to tell at underage gigs, because they squeal excitement at anything. Even when Dom from Millions suggested they buy their shirts.
Which brings me onto Millions. A band I have followed since they first popped their singles up on Triple J Unearthed, it was great to see the guys decked out in matching white outfits ready to wow the crowd. A little clockwork orange in their appearance, they delivered a solid set with a host of favourites ‘Slow Burner’, ‘Those Girls’, and closed out with their most popular tune, the thumping ‘Nineteen’. They also played a host of new songs, and announced they have new music coming out soon, which based of the newly trialed numbers is pretty exciting. In fact my only criticism is that they dropped ‘Guru’ out of the setlist. Yeah, pretty devo about that one.
When the Jungle Giants came out, you would have sworn you were at a One Direction concert based on the number of teenage screams that erupted from the crowd. I felt very over aged, and insecure at how deep my voice was. Nonetheless, the Jungle Giants came out guns blazing and played a set that ensured all those fans would be back again. Although the significance of the lyrics may have be lost on most of the crowd, ‘Domesticated Man’ went off, along with ageless debut ‘Mr Polite’, and modern classics ‘Skin to Bone’, and ‘She’s A Riot’. It was a fast paced energetic set, that had everyone dancing, including us older folk who were cutting a much more conservative groove. Oh, and the notable shout out for Sam who crowd surfed on teenagers pumped full of red cordial and fizzy drinks.
With the Tuss tour in full swing, Groovin’ The Moo, Live It Up and Triple J One Night Stand to come, there are plenty of opportunities to catch The Jungle Giants. Despite my above cynicism they are one sweet live act you don’t want to miss out on.
If you rate the catchy synth riff of Gold Snafu when its spun on the Js, wait till you catch it live. Friday night was my first taste of Sticky Fingers latest single live, and I wish I got to relive what was one of the most fun and intense shows I’ve been to in recent times.
When the crowd is calling out for a band well before they go on stage, you know you’re in for something special, and luckily Sticky Fingers didn’t disappoint. They were ably supported by the hipster come country sounds of Little Bastard, who managed to not only fit all 7 members on stage, but also to unleash some hip, jiving, barn stomping good tunes – complete with violin and harmonica.
The Stickies hit the stage to a home crowd who did more than adore them, clearly, considering they sold out two shows at Metro. It was an irresistibly raucous set, filled with the arrogance of a punk rock, and the clear delight of a local band whose reggae musings had grown more than they ever expected. With the crowd singing along word to word to every tune, Sticky Fingers, knocked off their entire debut album, plus a couple of bonus newbies. Caress Your Soul, opener Freddy Crabs, and Clouds and Cream saw the crowd scream with every note, only outdone by the frenzy when Spit Syndicate MC Nick Lupi hit the stage to spice up the hip hop side of their performance.
The Stickies then unleashed their homely number Australia Street as their encore to close out the set, despite the screaming crowd begging for more, in what was a legitimately earned encore – none of this predictive stage stuff. Unfortunately they never came back out, and my night mellowed off as I tried to exit with the sticky bodies of some more than satisfied customers.
<The super sweet pic was shot by theMusic.com.au, check em out>
Wednesday night we caught two super exciting emerging bands at the iconic Oxford Art Factory.
Kicking us off was the low-fi pop rock musings of Little May. Having released two of my favourite tracks last year in ‘Hide’ and ‘Boardwalks’, and been suitably been rewarded with a spot on the Laneway Festival line-up, it was great to see these girls (and guy) continuing on to better things. Word has clearly got around because these guys had packed house from the outset.They played a tight set, showing off their brooding indie pop, and dropping their impending next single ‘Mexico’ towards the end of the set to great reception.
Mikhail Paskalev hit the stage opening with a nice solo folk infused number called ‘Susie’, before inviting the rest of his band out to get stuff going. ‘I Spy’ was the crowd favourite and had rightly drawn the numbers to the gig, but boy does Mikhail and his band have talent. From slide guitars, to horns and some super tight drumming these guys put on a show with a range of upbeat pop tracks to slow rock ballad numbers. Not even some slight technical mishaps with the acoustic guitar could stop the guys. With his album just being released in Australia, Mikhail Paskalev showed he was no one trick pony, and the album would definitely be worth the investment.
On Friday Night I was lucky enough to catch Holy Holy and their supports in what was easily in the top three gigs I have been to this year – and we go to a fair few.
Opening the night was the initially quiet duo ‘Winterbourne’ who then exploded in what was hands down the best opening act of 2013. Featuring a host of their own tunes ranging from super catchy folk to more sombre ballads, the twosome just left the room in amazement. If there was any doubt that these two were not going to be one of the acts to watch in 2014, a splendid rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s, ‘Mrs Robinson’ put that to rest. Great muscianship, phenomenal vocals, and can write songs. Watch out for these guys next year!
Eleanor Dunlop was the next act up, and wowed the crowd with her take on moody haunting piano pop. Having not heard much of her before, it was good to finally catch her live and see what the hype was about. She played a solid set, incorporating a pretty cool Queens of The Stone Age cover to keep the night rolling on in the right direction.
Holy Holy took the stage with and really got the bar buzzing from the outset, delivering a momentous tight and truly complete sound. If you loved ‘Impossible Like You’ then you will be happy to know that these guys have the goods, playing a set that was hard to pick a weak point in. With an album due out early next year, this sneak preview of their new tracks left me very eager for new songs to drop already. They just delivered one of those sounds that was textured, heavy and backed by vocals that just melted your ears in all the right way. When they finally closed their set, I was definitely left wanting more!
As the crowd stumbled into the Unibar, Lyall Moloney mixed elements of folk, hip hop, reggae and blues rock, and came up with a unique sound and a solid set. Bootleg Rascal must have liked Moloney’s set because they asked him for a little help on a few tracks. The track Sharks was a boppy beachy bundle of fun and Psychotica got a great crowd reaction. Bootleg Rascals laid back guitars and seamless dub influence ensured crowd energy stayed on the way up.
It was good to see local boys The Vanns getting to play to such an excited and sizeable crowd, and even nicer to see them absolutely kill it. James Vann’s husky vocals on Don’t hold me back combine nicely with tight basslines, bouncy guitars and tropical beats. Blender was the song of the set.
Sticky Fingers took the stage at around 10.30, dressed as sharply as you would expect five boys from Newtown to be. Their punk rock spirit and cock rock attitude is ever present, though the boys add a sense of maturity through Dylan Frost’s husky vocals and clever lyrics. The dub beats and semi psychedelic guitars coincide with the bands overall energy. These Days provided a nice softer moment, Australia Street was a nostalgic dance along track and closer Caress Your Soul was huge. Overall it was a great bill of acts whose sounds complimented each other nicely, great times.
It was a fantastic night of live music at one of Sydneys best venues, oxford art factory on Thursday night. Evan and the Brave got the night kick started with their bouncy, uplifting, ridiculously melodic pop sounds. The melodies from these guys are brimming with good time vibes that cant help but make you smile and sway. Those smart enough to get there early and catch their set were well rewarded.
Next up were 3 peice MTNS, pronounced Mountains, who treated a quickly swelling crowd some surprisingly textured (considering there are just three of them!) electronic indie tunes. The vocals of lead singer Tom Eggert are stunningly unique and captivating. They float beautifully across haunting and swelling synths and electronic drum sounds. A solid set of original dark, atmospheric tunes with a great cover of arcade fires “the suburbs” thrown in the middle. What more could you want?
How about one of Sydney’s finest bands, Tigertown. Tigertown have been amassing a devoted fanbase in recent times and this was in evidence with oxford art quickly selling out. The bands mix of folksy melodies, driving drums and intricate guitars/keys provide the perfect backdrop for their perfect vocal harmonies. The intricate harmonies between Chris and Charlie have a real intimacy (probably helped by the fact that they are married). Highlights of a great show were the well placed and well played drum in the middle of the crowd and a stunning acoustic encore that brought all members to the front of the stage/ sharing mics and silencing a captivated sell out audience.