CHRIS WHEELDON //

MIDLAKE //

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by Chris

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WHAT: Midlake withBig Scary
WHERE: Capitol, Perth.
WHEN: 4/8/10

Wednesday evening in Perth and it seemed the older more distinguished lovers of music headed out to catch Texan band Midlake.

Opening act Big Scary are a two-piece from Melbourne that create quite lovely, temperamental and heavenly music. Their wonderful thirty-minute set was appropriately punctuated by their new single, Autumn: A driving drum beat; melodic keys and harmonies are always a winner.

Midlake make music in much the same ilk as older American songwriting bands. There are no driving rhythms; no high climaxes and little in ways of sing alongs. What they do do is make quite complicated, melody based and structured tracks that translate so well from record to live it’s a little scary.

With seven musicians on stage the initial sound was a little too much, but as their second track, “Children of The Grounds” bellowed through the room, things were ok. “Young Bride” and “Van Occupanther” from The Trials of Van Occupanther were true highlights. As they continued through their set you could close you’re eyes and be transported to the hills of Vermont, hiking through the mountains.

There was something natural about their show, something organic about musicians being musicians. They is no gimmick with this band and their talent is truly immense so a gimmick is in no way needed.

Fan favorite “Roscoe” was perfectly introduced by a truly amazing instrumental piece. They finished their set with the sentimental “Head Home” before popping back on for a few tracks, finishing it all up with Branches.

Midlake are a band of the highest order,seeing them live I have now ticked it off the Musical To-do list.

©Chris Wheeldon. 9/8/10

©Photos Gemma Pike. 2010

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SUGAR ARMY // LIVE AT AMPLIFIER

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by Chris

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WHAT: SUGAR ARMY. With Young Revelry and Emperors

WHERE: Amplifier Bar, Perth

WHEN: 3/07/10

It’s July and it’s cold but Sugar Army are keeping everything under control as they head around Perth on their In Control Tour. The third of four dates brought them and an irrepressible crowd to the Amplifier bar.

Support heroes, Emperors began the eve. Every time these guys play they seem to get better. Their songs have moved from mundane and bland to well crafted and with even better execution.

New single, The River and a reworked version of Favorite Colours were highlights from quite a delightful set that perhaps moved this band from OK to, dare a say it, a band to watch.

Young Revelry jumped up on stage for the second support slot. Starting off with a flurry of noise, distortion and heaviness, hopes were high for a band I had yet to see.

However as they settled down into their set my hopes faded. Young Revelry are in no way a bad band, but for me they were bland, repetitive and for the most part devoid of any real sense of self.

So to everyone’s favorite tasty treat: Sugar Army. From the outset it was clear that Sugars are well rehearsed, experienced and a downright good band. They played a fine set of new songs, in-between older tracks. Sugar Army gave the Saturday night crowd quite a treat.

They way they are able to weave tracks together is, in part, down to the hard work they put in the rehearsal rooms but more so due to the comfort they have with each other on stage.

Greed is Good, Where Do You Hide Your Toys? and new track In Control soared throughout the small room and the crowd were loving it. It was good to see an Amplifier crowd interested and involved in the live music they were witnessing.

Finishing with Acute and crowd favorite Tongues In Cheeks were a measure of how in tune Sugars were on this eve. With new tracks on the way, new recordings and further shows, the Army marches on.

©Chris Wheeldon. 5th July 2010.

Photos by Lisa Businovski Click any picture to see it full size!

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