Sunday, June 5, 2011



The temptation to greet the sight of a quirkily dressed girl strumming a Maton and shyly introducing a song with her head cocked to one side with a loud sigh of exasperation isn’t strong, it’s almost overwhelming. But then comes the music, and the voice, and the harmonies and the tight and humble rhythm section and the infallible sincerity, and easy catagorisation evaporates. Emma Louise can arrange and deliver a song with the authority of a veteran despite still being in her teens. The melding of her and keyboardist Hannah’s vocals are room-silencing, which is quite an achievement for a sold-out Corner who are all there to see someone else. Greatness awaits.

Silencing rooms is not on the agenda for Jinja Safari, whose floor-tom-heavy faux tropicalia is utterly devoid of meaning or substance yet will undoubtedly be scaling the heights of the Triple J playlist charts over the next few months. With cloying personalities, and (drummer aside) limited musical ability, Jinja Safari are all about the good vibes, which is fine. It just takes more than nicking some ideas from Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective and dressing them in a gormless smile to create something of consequence. And quite how triggering the sound of an electronic shaker while jumping around with an inaudible shaker improves a song is beyond me.

‘They came out of the sunshine, flowers nestled in their hair' croons singer Dave Hosking in a crystalline voice as he leads Boy & Bear through the opening Mexican Mavis to a rapt Corner. 'We've got a heap of new stuff tonight, I hope that’s OK with you' he says bashfully, and it seems we are. New songs Milk and Sticks and Part Time Believer show the band moving away from the comparisons they’ve been afforded in the past and, if their recent few weeks recording in Nashville are anything to go by, getting more AOR which, when you can write a song this well, is no bad thing. So, it’s somewhat a shame that the introduction ‘this song isn't ours,’ gets the biggest cheer of the night. Like everything else the band touch, their cover of Fall at your Feet is perfectly judged and very tasteful. Closing with the delicate and languid Beach and new single the arresting Feeding Line the lack of encore and ego is welcome in a band who are only playing the first of three sold out shows at The Corner.

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