With the stiff competition elsewhere in the city tonight it’s impressive to find the Grace’s bandroom nearly full, and the crowd clearly excited at the prospect of seeing The Triangles play their first Melbourne show in over three years. It’s perhaps even more impressive that a massive portrait of Bill Hicks mysteriously propped sidestage rarely distracts from proceedings.
Kicking off the night is Robot Child who have the unusual ability of wearing sharp 50s suits while playing a very 90s-sounding mix of metal riffs, funky piano and soaring grunge-esque vocals. While they do what they do really well, are super talented and charismatic dudes (particularly singer Jeff Wortman and guitarist Waleed Aly) and can likely play Throwing Copper and Blood Sugar Sex Magik note for note, it’s hard to imagine who has a yearning to hear their particular version of rule-breaking rock. Still with the grunge revival surely months away, who knows?
Vicuna Coat are a band who should be getting a lot more attention for their wholly original mix of indie rock, country psychedelia and seamless integration of sitar, symbiotic vocal harmonies and ukulele. Songs segue and rushes and lulls come and go as guitarists Edwin Jungwirth and Gordon Blake seem to telepathically work off each other to create singeing, smouldering lead lines and arpeggios. Whether they’d want more attention is hard to say, as there are no egos at work here. Songs cover road trips to Bluesfest (Red Devil Park), a dog, from the dog’s perspective (Kyra) and the wry depreciatory banter from stunning vocalist Kat Winduss. The band can only treat the audience as friends. ‘Stick around to hear one of my favourite bands of all time’ says Blake signing off.
The Triangles soon assemble themselves, their instruments, but mainly their props. And boy have they got some. Not content with catchy indie pop melodies, simple chugging chords, tinkling synths and a seemingly bottomless suitcase of random melodic instruments, there are top hats, portraits, balloons, plates of chocolate and coconut slice, Viking horn hats (passed off as bull horns) and a Zorro cape and mask. Each song seems to require a small-scale production, as massive word bubbles appear around singer Eleanor Horsburgh’s head during You Got Me All Worked Up before the aforementioned Spanish props accompany the closing Other Side of the Pillow. Of course the Spanish-chart-topping and Jetstar-ad-soundtracking Applejack is a highlight, but it’s their new song The Economist which indicates that it’s unlikely to be three years before their next Melbourne gig.