Friday, May 24, 2013


Northcote Social Club
Cold temperatures aren't enough to keep lovers of sunshiney electro pop away from celebrating two of its finer proponents tonight, and celebrating is what the crowd does in a very un-Melbournian way.

Swimwear is the one-man project of Dappled Cities’ Tim Derricourt who seems to spend his days making inspired, kitschy pop songs, and evenings unleashing pent-up energy playing them. Like a fun version of Muscles, Swimwear is in love with every programmed beat and nifty guitar lick, and his robust tenor commands and seduces the set into a catchy and hilariously infectious whole. That his occasional exuberant forays into the small crowd are hilarious and not embarrassing is testament to his self-belief and the small but won-over crowd. Even the darker moments of his set are only a minute or two away from some daft bum wiggling and copious mugging. Surely only one ace film clip away from hugeness, he is an inspired choice of support for a band that knows a LOT about the value of an ace film clip. It's still early days, but these are some pretty excellent days.

While almost entirely unknown in Australia (except to those Rubens fans who caught their opening sets last week), tonight's modest turnout is already bedecked in the face-paint the band is never seen without. While their inspired YouTube clips are largely responsible for their success, Ohio's Walk The Moon are uniformly excellent musicians and peerless micromanagers; not a trigger is mistimed, not a riff out of place. Coming out to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Pure Imagination, the band explode into Quesadilla; I must've tumbled out of a plane / Cause I free-fell all year / My chute is blooming out like spring / And I'm nowhere now, but here. 

It’s rare and heartening to see a half full venue jostling against the stage, reversing the cross-armed D that Melbourne crowds typically fall into. With the four-piece giving all they’ve got, it’s hard to remain unmoved. Every exuberant song calls for clapping and crowd-participation, every chorus is instantly catchy. Soaring electro swoops and copious thwatting of floor toms drive the songs that essentially sound like babies of Death Cab and MGMT. A note perfect cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance seems restrained and classy by comparison, as songs like Shiver, Shiver and I Can Lift a Car fuel the young crowd into paroxysms of buoyant glee.
Walk the Moon are more a multimedia project built around a Wes Anderson-directed end-of-year school festival; their clips full of animal costumes, large-scale synchronized dancing and warmly-lit frolicking face-painted teenagers, and live, they are possibly the most fun in recent memory. Whether online hits like Tightrope and the almighty Anna Sun are songs you want to hear outside of their visual augmentation is another thing, but tonight is an unquestioned raging success. For a band’s first headline show south of the equator to be this good, it’s easy to see that fame beckons.

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