The Ocean Party // Howler

02 Apr The Ocean Party ‘Nothing Grows’ Launch & Final Melbourne Show (23/3/19)


Words by Marcus Rimondini // Photos by Sarah Chavdaroska


“2012 Dolewave” as Lachlan Denton described one of their final songs, is officially laid to rest. The Ocean Party have put this particular project to rest after the passing of member Zac Denton. I won’t discuss his passing in this recap however, as I believe that’s a personal matter for his friends and family. This is simply a nice recap for one of my favourite bands this decade, as iconic of a Melbourne band as it gets. A band you’ll play to your kids in 20 years and say, “This pretty much sums up what the 2010-2020 decade felt like in our twenties.”


If the ’90s in Melbourne were punk rock, the 2000’s were keyboard revivalists unafraid to dance again at a pub gig. The 2010-2020 had a fleet of bands inspired by ’80s Australian acts such as The Go-Betweens, bands not full of angst, not learning to dance for the first time, just bands trying to understand the world and feeling like they haven’t got much power all the way down in Melbourne. Bands that write about the feelings that come to mind walking from work to gigs to somebodies backyard drinks, to the morning after with lyrics such as “Every weekend’s always the same, Girl in my room, I don’t know her name, I’m high on Saturday, suicidal on Sunday, I’m wastin’ my youth away”.

Looking for people to connect with, and that’s what The Ocean Party did as well as anyone in Melbourne. They felt like your good friend, never above or below you. The Ocean Party were like the friend who you didn’t really know, but you knew you could trust them. Their intentions were pure, they were pure musicians, not accountants pretending to be musicians for financial benefits. As you could tell, the band never made much money (just look at the beloved touring van they once drilled together).


Despite emerging from the Dolewave label, that generally implied morals slightly healthier than stoner rock, The Ocean Party actually tackled world problems in their songs too. Their 2015 track ‘Guess Work‘ is about the gun problem in the USA and it’s one of their more memorable songs. The occasional acknowledgement of the larger world around them, meant that when they did just sing about ‘Chinese Takeaway‘, these songs served as stress release distractions that we sometimes need from the hectic life of the overbearing world at times. I think of S02E01 of the TV show High Maintenance, when all of New York finds out Donald Trump got elected, and immediately weed sales skyrocket. If I was soundtracking a Melbourne version of High Maintenance, I’d choose tracks such as ‘More To Run‘, that sings “Have to believe in more than myself / to keep hangin’ on”. A song really concerned with what’s happening socially outside of the northside Melbourne bubble. Or ‘Split‘ that sings “I’m torn between what I want and / what I have to do/ I am finding it hard / I am split”, the band also chose this to be their final song played in Melbourne on the 23rd of March 2019.


The final Melbourne gig was a brilliant and emotional homage to Zac Denton. The band brought on stage guest singers for different Zac songs.

Emma Russack for ‘Nothing Grows

Will Farrier for ‘Model Sheep

Ashley Bundang for ‘Useless

Amanda Roff for ‘Country Air

Dominic Kearton stepped in on ‘Rain On Tin

and Snowy stepped in on ‘We Should Do This Again

While many of them shed a tear or two, it was Zac’s partner Mashara Wachjudy singing ‘Birth Place‘ that was gut-retching and beautiful and not something I’ll ever forget. The band joked that you can tell an Ocean Party song from another one of their side projects, because “they’re the honest songs”. I think another word they could’ve used was “vulnerable”, The Ocean Party always seemed to unlock the confidence in each other to be honest and vulnerable on stage. Something rarely found in a band from all of its members. Sets sometimes felt like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where band members took turns being honest and vulnerable with strangers.

It was fitting that for their final song and performance of ‘Split’, they encouraged the crowd to come on stage and sing along together, groups of 4 or 5 people around each microphone, bringing the bands country community spirit to the city one last time. Combine that with the Howler PA system and a wonderful sound mix via Bonnie Knight, a mix as lush and defined as I ever heard The Ocean Party. Where the guitars glistened like The War On Drugs, and all the instruments’ special subtle interplay was clearly defined. The band, friends, fans and family made Zac Denton, where ever he is now, smile at least one more time.


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25 May Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (25/5/17)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 26th of May

Cable Ties at Record Paradise

~Free Entry~

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Cable Ties and Shrimpwitch played their first gigs in the same backyard, and they’re coming together again to celebrate the release of their respective new albums.

They’re playing instore at Record Paradise in Brunswick from 6pm on Friday. All ages, free entry and cheap drinks but first come first serve so head down early.


Friday, 26th of May

The Ocean Party and Golden Syrup

On the door

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Later on and around the corner on Friday, two other fantastic acts are coming together to play at The Tote.

Golden Syrup and The Ocean Party — both absolutely blistering live — are on from 9.45pm for only $8 entry (on the door).


Friday, 26th May

Loose Tooth Sensation

Tickets $15

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Dust off your go-to all-white outfit* because Loose Tooth have put together the inaugural Sensation at The Curtin (*suggested but by no means compulsory).

Also playing on the night are Totally Mild and Pure Moods, all for $15.


Saturday, 27th May

Flamingo Jones Single Launch

On the door

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Flamingo Jones‘ new single ‘North (We’ll Be Warmer Up There)’ is the perfect auditory escape from looming Melbourne winter.

He’s celebrating its launch at Hugs&Kisses on Saturday night (with live band The Hi-Life Tribe). Playing support are Uncle Bobby and Blyolk, for $10 on the door.


Sunday, 28th May

Snow Cone Sundays at Howler

~Free entry~

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Arbes and Great Outdoors are playing on Sunday afternoon for this weeks’ edition of Snow Cone.

Snow Cone has been taking over the garden at Howler for free, fun live music to chill out to. If you can’t make it to this one, their upcoming line-ups are worth a peek– when winter officially takes Melbourne you may as well lean in to it.

 

 

 


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21 Apr Roland Tings ‘Each Moment A Diamond’ Tour, Live at Howler (13/4/17)


Words by Matt Bladin // Photos by Sarah Chav’


Off the back of his self-titled debut in 2015, Roland Tings became a mainstay of the Australian electronic scene. Throughout 2016 he played countless gigs, peddling his unique brand of layered, rolling electro across the country before taking some time to regroup.

In late 2016 he released the first pieces of new music in over a year, with his recognisable arpeggios and percussion accompanied by a slight shift in tone and influences. New, house-ier moments in tracks like ‘Higher Ground’ and ‘Eyes Closed’ set the tone for what was to come in the critically praised EP Each Moment A Diamond. As we learned from our recent chat with Roland, this EP was a long time in the making — and perhaps even longer in securing it’s release.

 

Roland recently embarked on a massive Australian and New Zeland tour, and despite the delays in releasing new music it became clear that fans had not lost interest. Kicking off in March the tour covered Canberra, Wollongong, Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane before heading south for Wellington and Auckland. The new live show brings to the stage the two man live arrangement recently seen at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and supporting RUFUS on their tour.

 

We were lucky enough to catch the extra Thursday show at Howler in Melbourne, only added after the Friday night performance sold out very quickly. As the Howler band room slowly started to fill, the audience found their feet to high-energy, intricate house productions by Fishing. Highlights from their recent EP Pleasure Dome — such as ‘Yuma’ and the title track ‘Pleasure Dome’ — perfectly set the pace of the evening.

 

After the support from Fishing and Venus II, there was an atmosphere of excitement and heady anticipation by the time Roland Tings took to the stage — which he capitalised on by immediately launching in to new material. Long, progressive tracks helped build tension in the room — like the distorted harps of ‘Turn Your Face To The Sun’ — and made the most of the impressive rack of synths and relays that adorned the stage.

 

Accompaniment from a live percussionist gave many tracks an added sense of weight, without overpowering the overall sound output. New numbers like ‘Hedonist’ particularly benefitted from the heightened performance value added by live drums. Its broad, reverbed-out synth lines left heaps of space for the full-bodied bass and punching kicks to cut through Howler’s sound system. Inspired by the Australian outback, the track’s sense of atmosphere made it a stand out on the recent EP and it was received as such live.

 

More upbeat new tracks like ‘Eyes Closed’ and ‘Garden Piano‘ were spread throughout favourites from Tings’ debut album, which helped to maintain a strong energy during the hour and a half set. The progression from track to track was often seamless, largely due to the extensions and reworks of key elements between each one. The live aspects of the performance helped to transition these extended versions together to create one continuous soundtrack for the night. The slow-to-start but eventually powerful ‘Slow Centre’ proved to be a highlight of these transitions, as it moves from a Bonobo-esque percussion piece into a powerful dance floor shaker. Another highlight was the unexpected move into a Roland staple; ‘Floating On a Salt Lake’. Its drawn out introduction was weaved so effortlessly into the proceeding sounds that the dramatic cut to only the bass line came as a welcome surprise.

 

Undoubtedly one of the biggest moments of the night came from recent lead single ‘Higher Ground’. The stabbing top line synths and bouncing bassline would have been more than sufficient to raise the energy in the room again, but the inclusion of the first vocals lines of the night (from local singer Nylo) gave the audience an additional element to latch onto and inevitably sing along with. A crowd singing back the words to a recently released song always creates a special moment, and through the impressive light and smoke show Howler had put on it was clear that the two piece on stage were enjoying it just as much as the audience. Bringing the set to a close was undoubtedly Roland Ting’s biggest release to date, ‘Pala’. Hearing such an often-played track live gave it a new energy that the crowd lapped up in their final dancing moments.

 


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03 Nov Ripe’s Weekly Gig Guide (3/11/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 4th November

The Lovely Days

Buy Tickets

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Byron-bred Melbourne-based boys The Lovely Days are back from their sojourn state-side and celebrating with a show on Friday night.

Wesley Fuller and The Dead Heir are playing support on the night, from 8.30pm at Bar Open.


Friday, 4th November

The Laurels ‘Sonicology’ Tour

Buy Tickets

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The Laurels are currently touring Australia with their much-anticipated new record, Sonicology.

They’re hitting Melbourne on Friday night, playing The Curtin with support from Lowtide and Lalić.


Saturday, 5th November

Sex on Toast

Buy Tickets

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Ten-piece band Sex on Toast are playing on Saturday night at Howler, with support from Horns of Leroy and Jess Fairlie.

Extra tip: their very impressive new merch (designed by Lee Porter Design) will be available on the night and is well worth checking out.


Saturday, 5th November

Fortunes. 501s Tour

Buy Tickets

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Fortunes. are touring their lush new single ‘501s‘, the first release from their upcoming EP.

See them at The Toff on Saturday night, with support by Moon Holiday and Wallace.


Saturday, 5th November

Coming in to Bloom

~Free Entry~

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This Saturday also sees the first of the Soothsayer and V MoVement presented Coming in to Bloom parties at Section 8.

With a lineup featuring the likes of CC:DISCO!, Otologic, Total Giovanni DJs and more, head down as close to the 2pm start time as possible to secure your spot on the dancefloor.

 

 

 


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I'lls @ Howler 14-06-15

14 Sep Ripe’s Top 5 Weekly Gig Guide (14/9/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 16th September

Rat & Co A.I. Tour

Buy Tickets

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Rat & Co are playing at Howler on Friday to celebrate the release of ‘A.I.’, the first single from their upcoming record.

They’ll be playing their new material with visuals by Brendan Harwood and support by Oisima and Tetrahedra.


Friday, 16th September

Nico Ghost – ‘Who Dat?’ Tour

Buy Tickets

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Following on from supporting Wu-Tang Clan, G-Eazy and The Underachievers on their national tours in recent months, Melbourne MC Nico Ghost is currently touring his upcoming single ‘Who Dat’.

You can catch his Melbourne stop Friday night at The Workers Club in Fitzroy.


Friday, 16th September

HABITS 2am Show

Tickets on the door

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Yah Yah’s 2am show this Friday is HABITS, fresh off their appearance at BIGSOUND last week.

Head down early for free entry, or hand over one crisp $10 bill on the door after midnight.


Saturday, 17th September

Skyways Are Highways EP Launch

Buy Tickets

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Another sweet gig at Yah Yah’s this weekend is the launch of Skyways Are Highways new EP.

Playing support are Diamonds of Neptune and The Dukes of Deliciousness.


Sunday, 18th September

Ferdydurke 4th Birthday

Tickets on the door

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Ferdydurke are putting on a big, fun and free party on Sunday to celebrate their 4th birthday.

Mall Grab is playing, alongside Cale Sexton [DJ Set], Mickey Edwards, M.L Lean, S. Vibrato, and Aperol Skitz.

 

 

 


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Roland Tings @ Howler 2015

08 Sep Ripe’s Top 5 Weekly Gig Guide (8/9/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Thursday, 8th September

GODS Live at the Toff

Buy Tickets

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GODS are bringing their psychedelic rock to The Toff on Thursday, using the night to further fund their upcoming debut EP.

RAThammock are playing support as are the beautiful boys of Greeves, who will be preforming some of their new tunes.


Thursday, 8th September

Northeast Party House ‘Dare’ Album Tour

Buy Tickets

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Northeast Party House are playing at 170 Russell, on the tour for their new record ‘Dare‘ (out this Friday).

Joining them are Polish Club, Twinsy and Osaka, hot off the release of their new single ‘Weights‘.


Friday, 9th September

Larry Heard (aka Mr Fingers)

Buy Tickets

GG Larry Heard Sept 10

Animals Dancing and Crown Ruler are presenting Larry Heard aka MR Fingers in his first ever show in Australia, and second since his return to live shows.

Gigi Masin and Gaussian Curve are also playing on the night at the Melbourne Town Hall, so if you have the means and opportunity you would be crazy not to jump on tickets ASAP.


Saturday, 10th September

GL ‘Touch’ Tour

SOLD OUT

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Dreamy party-time dance duo GL are touring their debut album, Touch, around the country at the moment.

They are playing at Howler with Totally Mild and Venus II for the Melbourne leg on Saturday night.


Sunday, 11th September

Ciggie Sunday: Ciggiespiracy

Tickets on the door

GG Ciggie Sept 11

Ciggie Sunday is back at the Gasometer this Sunday with Ciggiespiracy.

Tunes will be coming from Tomsk, Service Desk, Max Matthews, Runsthevoodoodown and VJ Isaac Christie for the grand total of $0.
Head down early.

 

 

 


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28 Aug Kllo ‘Well Worn’ EP Tour, Live at Howler (19/8/16)


Words by Georgia Hamilton-Myers // Photos by Sarah Chavdaroska


The bandroom at Howler was the perfect space for lush electronic tunes from Kllo, on the hometown stop of their ‘Well Worn’ EP tour. Good Manners curated a fantastic lineup, the Harpoon DJs playing beats between support acts CORIN and Martin King (of The Harpoons).

 

CORIN, an electronic artist from Sydney, was the first to preform. Her blend of experimental sounds and vocal loops was balanced with strong keyboard melodies. CORIN is a classically trained pianist, which is reflected in her incredible technical skills. She used her Nord to its full capabilities, experimenting with different sounds and scale-like melodies over electronic drum pad beats. The lighting at Howler is incredible, as you’ll be able to see in Sarah Chav‘s photos, and soft lasers and entrancing lights during her set created the perfect vibe to start the night.

 

Martin King, member of the Harpoons, played next. His set was less methodical than CORIN’s and more interactive, both with the crowd and the sound/light technicians. For other acts, requests to change the levels or the lights can be distracting. But paired with his self-deprecating banter on stage it made the audience feel like part of his set; part of the bedroom jam as he tried different things and pulled in some of his friends to play brand new songs.

 

Guest vocalist Juliet Rowe brought late 70s disco/soul vibes, and after requesting to use the mirrored disco ball she got everyone moving. His last song with the rest of The Harpoons was a true party, charming and joyful. The Harpoons DJed again afterwards as the stragglers of the sold-out crowd made their way in.

 

Kllo appeared on stage to cheers, and though the audience were devoted they were also particularly chatty. A group near me complained loudly and at great length about how annoying it was seeing people on their phones, irony lost on them as they talked through soft, subtle moments of Kllo’s set. The chattiness of the crowd is a by-product of the popularity of the duo, who have moved into bigger venues now that they have been touring near constantly. Consistently preforming has given both Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul an obvious sense of being comfortable on stage, while their quiet cool kid vibe stays as strong as ever.

 

Chloe’s soft vocals and Simon’s artful producing work is completely in sync live, and every song was met with great appreciation. After their last EP gave a sense of the sound they were moving towards, this EP is a clear foundation of what their sound is. Now they’ve mastered the format and found their voice, I’m looking forward to seeing how they riff on and play with it in the future. After the conclusion of their Australian tour dates this weekend, Kllo are heading overseas to play support for RÜFÜS across London and Europe.

 


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18 Aug Ripe’s Top 5 Weekly Gig Guide (17/8/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 19th August

Kllo ‘Well Worn’ EP Tour

SOLD OUT

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With the release of their highly-anticipated EP Well Worn, Melbourne’s Kllo (Simon Lam & Chloe Kaul) are touring nationally.

Featuring singles ‘Bolide‘ and ‘Walls to Build‘, join the electronic-powerhouse duo at Howler joined by Corin, Martin King & the Harpoon DJs.


Friday, 19th August

Cool Room – S02E08: Brooke Powers

Tickets at the Door

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After the winter break, Cool Room is back in August wtih favourite Brooke Powers and more venerable Melbourne artists.

Head to 26 Francis St Friday night to party alongside Brooke Powers, Ben Houghton, Avery & Sebastian Sibelle.


Friday, 19th August

Misty Nights: Change is the Only Constant

Tickets at the Door

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It’s your last chance to boogie down with Misty Nights as they celebrate their third birthday and last party at Hugs&Kisses.

Featuring Andee Frost, Awesome Wales & River Yarra.


Saturday, 20th August

Good Manners Pres. Silent Jay & Jace XL, The Goods, 30/70, Billy Davis + more

Buy Tickets

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Good Manners switches it up for a night of soul injected performances at The Curtin.

A nod to Australia’s thriving Soul and Hip Hop scene, the night includes
S I L E N T J A Y & Jace XL, The Goods, 30/70, BILLY DAVIS and DJ Pjenne.


Saturday, 20th August

The Warehouse presented by Beat | Live N Local Feature Event

Free Entry

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Presented by Live N Local & Beat Magazine, head down to Globe Warehouse. for a stellar night of music and food trucks.

Featuring The Sugarcanes, Loose Tooth & Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

 

 

 


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26 Apr Hoodlem x Nico Ghost live at Howler

 

Saturday nights at Howler are usually a packed out affair, but April 16th was a particularly special evening as Hoodlem teamed up with Nico GhostAlice Ivy, and GXNXVS for a wonderful night of talented Australian music.

I arrived in time to see Nico Ghost slowly make his way to the stage, limping and sporting crutches. The crowd surged forward and in an instant, there was high-energy fun, dance, and great tunes. It was a fantastic set from the Aussie hip-hop rapper, and he never let his injury bring him down as he joined the crowd, dancing and jumping, keeping the energy up for his entire set. He was joined by GXNXVS for a song towards the end, and when they exited, they left behind a hyped-up crowd waiting front and centre for Hoodlem.

 

I’ve seen Hoodlem live once before at Boney, and it was one of those sets that just stays with you. As they played through both their new and old material – some of it to be released not long after the gig – I was left with a thirst for more of their impressive visuals and tracks. There was so much soul to the set, and I don’t mean the genre – just that general feel-good vibe.  Their songs got some serious Spotify replays after that night as I made my way through ‘Firing Line’ and ‘Through’, and then upon the release of their self-titled EP Hoodlem’ their newer tracks were constantly on repeat, in particular ‘Collapse’ and ‘Kinstugi’.

So to say I was a little excited to see them again, well… that was a given, and this time it was an absolute extravaganza of sound, lights, and energy. Hoodlem’s singer blew the crowd away with her dance moves and strong vocals, whilst Yeo transitioned the duo through each track smoothly and without fault, showing Melbourne yet again that he is a rising star in the producer/singer-songwriter field.

 

After their dazzling light and music show, I was again left feeling like Hoodlem are going to be one of those new rising stars in Australian music. Even though we bid farewell to their singer as she heads to Canada, there will hopefully be more writing and producing coming from the powerhouse duo – I hope to see them live again one day to hear new and more exciting material.

 

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Photos by Sarah Chavdaroska

31 Mar Yeo live at Howler (24/3/16)

 

It was a packed-out Howler on Thursday night for the Melbourne leg of Yeo’s national Ganbaru album launch tour. Since his last EP release Come Find Me in 2014, there was an eagerness and excitement in the room to hear this new 2016 full-length release live – including his highly successful track ‘Quiet Achiever’, which preceded the album in 2015.

With his Roland Keyboard Controller (or ‘Keytar’, for the more musically-inclined amongst us) in hand, the night began as Yeo and his drummer Andy walked on stage. They were soon shrouded in colourful, captivating visuals that took over the stage as they played through new tracks ‘Promise / Secret’, ‘Icarus’ and ‘Got No Game’ – each song a real highlight from his new album, keeping the tempo up but changing the vibe ever-so-slightly each time.

 

 

Joined onstage halfway through by Saatsuma vocalist Memphis Kelly and Animaux vocalist and saxophnist Ollie Whitehead, the vibe in Howler’s band room just kept growing – as did the temperature (if anyone has been to a Howler set when it gets hot, they’ll know what I mean). As they all performed together, it was a real treat to see all their musical talents combine, and the energy onstage was fantastic. This is something I was hoping to see in Yeo’s live show, as his music involves an eclectic range of sounds, allowing him to explore different ways to bring his live show to a new level. ‘Covered in Gold’ came up next, a sensational synth-vocal track released back in 2013.

 

 

After a whole hour of sweating it out with the crowd, I was glad that they only had a short encore interval as Yeo and Andy returned on stage for one last song – a cover of Tina Turner’s hit ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’. The duo had played well all evening, and with one last tremendous keyboard solo Yeo’s set was over. As his fans cheered him off the stage, they kept on grooving as DJ Alex Yabsley took over.

Yeo, without a doubt, is one of those ‘genre undefined’ artists who is going from strength to strength. From a a support slot with Glass Animals to a vocal feature with Hermitude, it’s an exciting time for the young Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and producer. Ganbaru is a true testament to his forever-changing style and sound, and hopefully we see more experimentation and collaborations from Yeo in future as he continues to grow as an artist.

 

 

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