Visions featuring Deep Sea Arcade, Shining Bird, The Tsars and The Preatures (DJ set) @ Oxford Art Factory on 21st of December

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‘Have you got your copy of Hot Mosh!?’howled Nick Mckenzie, frontman of Deep Sea Arcade to which he said rather worriedly, ‘Did you read them in the dark…?’ A clear sign that he was absolutely drunk but who cares, we were in, ‘Slurry Hills’ according to Nick. Indeed, in ‘Slurry Hills’ things were a little more wild and a lot more hip as Hot Mosh and Deep Sea Arcade came together to bring along Shining Bird, The Tsars live and The Preatures on the decks for a wild night. For me, the highlight of the night was not only sighting Isabella Manfredi in the flesh but her walking within a 2 metre radius of my friends and I. Damn you Jack.

Sydney locals The Tsars took to the stage first whom you may remember as we interviewed The Tsars a few months ago . Furthermore, despite not performing live for over half a year, The Tsars brought their psychedelic prowess to the fore. Live, The Tsars are a far more languid band relying heavily upon guitar breakdowns and sharp drumming than the mesmerising voice of Reg Harris. Sliding through such tracks as, ‘Beach’ with its instant-summer vibe guitar strums and a more up-tempo version of the usual melancholic, ‘The River’. Chatting to Reg after the show, I can confirm that they will be releasing their debut album this summer and after that they will record an EP before going out on tour again! Check Lumis Youth for a review of the album when it comes out!

Seeing Shining Bird live stripped away the veneer of production within their discography, but it also revealed the deep baritone of Dane Taylor that reminded me of Matt Beringer from The National. Having previously discarded them as ‘just another indie band’ I was surprised by the layering within their music, albeit simple chord work but it still managed to create an attention-grabbing atmosphere. Indeed, throughout the whole performance they managed to take the crowd away from the rush of ‘Slurry Hills’ to a day lazing out on the beach with the crowning moment being when they strolled through their single, ‘Distant Dreaming’.

Before the headliners of the night came on stage, The Preatures laid down some tracks from the 70’s rock canon including Zeppelin, Sabbath and Bowie. With the mood set, Deep Sea Arcade bounded on stage clearly having had 10 too many drinks but that did not stop them from pumping out hit after hit. Having seen them already twice before, I was blown away by the enthusiasm and surge in confidence in the band as they come across as introverts on their record. Indeed, this vitality on stage made songs such as, ‘Granite City’ and a crowd-favourite, ‘Girls’ that much more lively. Sadly, they did not play their magnificent cover of The Chemical Brothers, ‘Let Forever Be’.

Together, Hot Mosh and Deep Sea Arcade put on a fantastic night albeit a rather drunken one in which the strength of the Sydney live music scene was shown.

Reignwolf @ Goodgod Small Club 10/12/13

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‘Are you satisfied?’, Yowled Jordan Cook as he slashed away at his guitar leaving me with only one thought in my mind, ‘no, I want more.’ In my opinion, Reignwolf took out both the prize for sweatiest band ever but also for the best live act I have seen all year despite having less than 10 songs in their repertoire. Rumour has it that Jordan Cook, their lead singer, has been performing in venues since he was six-years old but all I know is that he threw down one of the most energetic and fast-paced sets I have ever seen.

Since 1975 it has seemed apt for everyone to moan, ‘Oh Rock n’ Roll is dead, it’ll never be the same again!’ Some would say that is the case now with the rise of EDM but Reignwolf showed that those thoughts are wrong, so very, very wrong. Initial impressions of Reignwolf were a lot of vocal reverb, monster riffs, sweat, sweat and more sweat.

From the opening moments you are struck by the vitality of rock n’ roll through the sheer talent of Jordan Cook as he not only ripped away at his guitar but also drummed for the opener, ‘Electric Love’. You do not see that everyday. The rest of band then rolled on stage, with David Rapaport on bass and Joseph Braley on drums. At first the audience seemed stunned by the zest of Reignwolf but once the sweat started flowing, the heads started shaking and thats when the night began.

By far the stand out moment was Reignwolf’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s, ‘The Chain’ where bathed in a soft, golden light he created a far more coarse, blues-orientated version of the song. Though, the only annoyance of the whole night was the constant presence of iPhones, especially in that would-be beautiful moment, as people crowded each other to get a grainy photo of Jordan Cook.

As I left Goodgod dazed and confused the only thought I could comprehensively agree upon was that I was not satisfied but I knew that Reignwolf had embarked on the beginning on the road to success in the coming year.

MOVEMENT @ Goodgod Small Club 26/10/13

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In 1974 Jon Landau wrote that he had seen the future of Rock n’ Roll perhaps I did not see the future but I did see a new path being made for Australia music for $15. Indeed, Movement came, saw and they conquered the smoke-filled, laser bathed performance space of Goodgod with their soulful vocals and minimalistic beats flecked with steel drums.

During the day the trio are known as Sean (percussion), Jessie (bass) and Lewis (vocals) but by night they perform under the moniker of Movement. Bathed in green light they ascended the intimately close stage of Goodgod and did not look back. For the majority of the night the crowd was treated to unreleased tracks such as Ivory and Illusion which in its self is a risky move because new songs are always schizoid beasts. Regardless of how big you are, there lies the risk that because the crowd do not know the song it will fall flat on its face. However,tonight was not one of those moments but a rare instance when even if you had never heard Illusion before, the pulsating rhythms had you in their grasp.

Throughout the night Lewis feed off the enthusiasm of the crowd which flowed into his rich voice, pushing him, daring him to go further. Lewis dared and his golden voice encased us all in the moment. There was something special about Lewis’s voice, sure the band would not be the same without the xx-like percussion elements of Sean and smooth bass lines of Jessie but Lewis seems to be the very soul of band, with his slow controlled movement and tireless grin.

For $15 I saw something I would expect from an older, more experienced band and as I stumbled out of the Goodgod Small Club I knew I would not be paying $15 to see them next time.

44 – Lumis takes on Collarbones @ Sound Lounge

Don’t you hate the beginning of awkward first dates and Collarbones was just like you spend the first half of the night quietly enjoying but not sure whether you should be but when the ice breaks, the fun starts to happen. Entering the candle-lit space, the lights are shimmer against the dark hues hulking in the corners. In the space, there is no distinction between the ‘Artist’ and the ‘Audience Member’, there are only people here soak up the heady atmosphere. Forget everything you know about going to a venue. Forget fighting against everyone else to even breathe some resemblance of air. Forget the cloying smells of booze, body odour or cheap perfume. Its just Collarbones and you.

Starting out like an awkward date, we all sat on chairs, far from the front of the stage staring at their visuals wondering what a boy who looked rather cold standing a forest had to do with anything. To be honest, most of the night I spent wondering what the actual purpose of a group of skinny, cold boys had anything to do with the performance. As the night moved on the tension began to break with some encouragement from Marcus to come closer, so as faithful fans we edged closer to the stage but the for the most of part the audience, mainly consisting of awkward indie folk, sat where they were pathetically nodding along to the music. As the gig began to edge to a close, Marcus announced that they had a special guest, Guerre here to sing along live to Hypothermia. A personal favourite of mine. The night then really took, the ice breaking and hitting ‘critical mass’ as all the awkward indie kids filling out the audience got up and starting dancing along, really blurring the lines along who was the artist and who was an audience member. A surprisingly joyous night in which I scored an interview with Guerre, which will be up when his album comes out this year.

All in all though, I feel this is the type of live music Sydney should be pushing for, it really encourages active audience engagement with the band. Instead of the standard, everyone stand in a huddled mass in which neither element can interact with each other, which can be fun but is not the same when it’s just you up and close with the band.

-L