I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, perhaps for some time: Newtown Social Club is my favourite live venue in Sydney. Some may find this controversial, but to me there is nothing controversial about the venue always delivering an intimate show with on-point mixing and a relaxed yet enthused crowd. Not to mention the opportunity to chat with the band members (and with it, the opportunity to fan-girl). On Monday night, each act provided a variety of sounds and styles, which made for a well-rounded evening.
Slum Sociable played a mixed set – they had an unusual sound that began very polished, which drew the crowd in quickly. The best thing about these Melbourne dudes was how relaxed and laid back they were on stage, and how naturally their music came across. While they only have one single out at the moment (“Anyway”), they had a lot of catchy tracks in their set which I personally can’t wait to hear recorded.
Grace brought the audience closer in towards the stage and enticed with her smokey melodies. While she seemed uncertain at first just singing, once she found her guitar in hand she became more comfortable, and rounded off a pleasant set.
When Mansionair came on, the most notable aspect of their performance was vocalist Jack Froggart’s well-supported silvery vocals. He cruised through their singles ‘Hold Me Down’ and ‘Second Night’ sensually, while drummer Alex Nicholls and guitarist Lachlan Bostock held the rhythm of each piece together. Effects on the mic made the sound effortless and brought to mind the beats of Glass Animals or the delicate sounds of producers like RUFUS.
The banter between band members and singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Alex (complete with cake) made the gig an intimate one, and made the band seem down to earth and approachable. Though the audience shouldn’t be fooled, Mansionair packs a punch live, and is an act to watch grow in the future.
For a taste of their sensuality, try listening to ‘Second Night’:
By Erin Rooney