Monday, September 26, 2011

Live Review: RICHARD IN YOUR MIND, THE LAURELS, FISHING


GAOB RAB BUFFALO CLUB

A Richard in Your Mind gig is always a chance to sample some of Sydney’s more interesting bands in addition to a show by one of the country’s most underrated groups. It’s also many people’s first experience of this curiously named new venue, part private club part anonymous alleyway dive, whatever it is it’s old, strange and blessed with a great PA.

Drifting onstage and soon issuing forth warm tones and twisted beats, the duo of Fishing are a strange prospect. While making music driving down rainy motorways to, with mid-paced big beats and warm reverb-heavy chords and choral voices. Motifs linger and leave to be replaced by swells of reverb and what sounds like echoes of an old Kompakt compilation. It’s oddly emotive in parts, and ruthlessly in-your-face in others, at times the duo seem to surprise each other with their moves and closing with a mashup of TLC's Waterfalls/No Scrubs is a deft twist.

It’s safe to say that without the 1988-1991 output of My Bloody Valentine The Laurels wouldn’t exist, or would be a more interesting prospect if they did. As it is, a dearth of ideas is substituted for with copious effects and even more volume. Indiscernible lyrics and a seamless jagged wall of barely controlled noise can be beautiful; here it is tedious, swampy shoegaze. If there were something beautiful or profound in these songs, it would get lost, as much of the crowd did during their set.

With their current tour featuring the welcome addition of Alyx from Ky├╝ on vocals and keyboard, Richard welcomes us with a “Hey man, thanks for coming out…even though we're inside,” before blowing our minds with their take on whatever passes for psychedelic pop these days. Richard in Your Mind explode preconceptions as easily as bassist Brent explodes a bottle of champagne during one of the albums finer moments Maybe When the Sun Goes Down. This is a concert of rare ambition and warmth. Take the Sun Away is folk-fuelled bliss, Birds recreates the journey to a Hawaiian beach as a three-minute pop song, while the mourning harmonica of Tear Filled Ocean is our return. Closing with blistering versions of their glorious I Will and a wholly worthy cover of Please Please Me, it feels the show can’t be bettered, but, just to prove me wrong Candelabra from 2010’s fantastic My Volcano leaves no need for an encore.

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