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Gig Review: Thumpers + Tales in Space + Billy Fox

Thumpers

Thumpers might seem like a strange name for a band, but it won’t after experiencing the syncopated, pounding rhythms they bring to their live shows. And this well-managed sound was certainly a pleasant surprise for the casual audience that made it down to Newtown Social Club on Thursday.

As the crowd gently trickled in, Billy Fox filled the room with swirling electronic notes that brought to mind San Francisco producer Tycho, combined with snappier vocals to lift the mood. His offbeat sense of humour matched a quirky sense of style, and managed to lighten up the quiet audience.

 

Tales in Space started to draw a larger audience with an intriguingly in-sync rhythm guitar section and bass line that made them seem almost like a parody band. But these guys meant business, pulling out all the stops with nicely placed indie rock harmonies and even a cosmic cover of George Michael’s sultry “Careless Whisper” (a riff like that sax line never goes astray, I can tell you).

 

UK act Thumpers followed and showed the audience just how much fun they could have, with great chemistry on stage between friends. In fact, there was so much going on that it made me stop and realise just how much it’s easy to miss in a recording. From getting the audience in on the action by clapping, to a complex patchwork of syncopated vocal rhythms, there was a lot being put into their sound and none of it was lost on stage. “Tame” was a standout track in this respect, creating an interesting weave of beats.

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“We’re used to having an eleven-piece ensemble on stage, but we couldn’t afford to fly them all out,” apologised lead vocalist Marcus Pepperell. But Newtown Social Club proved once again to be a space that facilitates effective mixing of the sound, allowing each member of the band to shine, and bringing out the particularly lovely backup vocals just enough. The final track “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)” got people moving and encouraged some (ahem, braver) members of the audience to dance like no one was watching.

 

Thumpers gave a spirited performance to a relaxed audience and revealed their rhythmic prowess. Check out their debut album Galore, out now.

By Erin Rooney

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Song of the Week: Comes and Goes by Covey

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Now that winter has officially arrived the need for some snuggle worthy tunes has arisen, ‘Comes and Goes’ by British singer songwriter Covey is the perfect listen.

With his warm and soothing vocals and charming good looks, Covey is slowly starting to stand out in the crowded indie music scene. This track has a rich sound and upbeat rhythm and really does warm your soul as you listen. You will get lost in the lyrics and be transported somewhere special, have a listen:

 

With experiences growing up all over the world, it is clear Covey has a unique maturity and array of influences in his voice, working together beautifully and allowing for a powerful sound to shine through.

By Sophie Henry

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International Highlights – Herd Runners by Cherry Ghost

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Artist: Cherry Ghost
Album: Herd Runners
Hometown: Bolton, UK
Genre: Indie Rock

This week we’re taking our Album Review past Australia’s shores and listening to the tender tunes of English five-piece Cherry Ghost with their new record Herd Runners.

Whilst the band has long associated themselves with the indie rock genre, featuring emotional content and sweet, rolling guitar lines, there’s something about this work that seems like a throw back to the country-rock sounds of Nashville. In fact, the band’s sound this time around could easily be likened to that of The Eagles with its vibrating harmonies and occasional slide guitar.

“Clear Skies Ever Closer” is a beautiful introduction to the album. Demonstrating real energy and a wonderful hopeful vibe, Simon Aldred’s vocals are really made to shine and it’s a song that will sit comfortably on repeat.

 

However, the feel of the album quickly becomes more restrained, leaving the band more open to explore slower melodies in tracks such as “Fragile Reign” and “Sacramento”. The mood quickly takes a melancholic turn with “Drinking For Two” and the listener is engulfed by its simple sadness.

But the energy of the first track does make a heartfelt reappearance by the end with “Love Will Follow You”, my personal favourite from this album.

Herd Runners is set for release in Australia this Friday 16 May – be sure to give it a play on Spotify or grab yourself a copy!

By Erin Rooney