John Steel Singers, Jonathan Boulet @ The Corner 30/03/11

Double headline tours are all the rage at moment, but it doesn’t get any better than the Here’s Johnny Tour which saw John Steel Singers and Jonathan Boulet play to a sold out Corner on Sunday.

It’s always great to see a band having fun on stage and it was clear Parking Lot Experiments were having a ball. Mixing 8-bit electronics, rock and a dash of pop, the band quickly charmed the growing crowd with their fun music and synchronised dancing. While most of the songs were instrumental, they never dragged on or became boring. That said, their stage presence between songs was extremely awkward and there were a few technical difficulties (a particularly memorable one included a Sophie- Ellis Bexter song of all things). They are definitely a band to keep your eye on and are one of the most exciting new bands to come out of Melbourne.

Love Connection was not the best choice to open for the John Steel Singers. Not that their set was band, on the contrary they were fantastic. But their atmospheric, layered pop didn’t sit well with the restless crowd. Some notable moments were the single I Know You’re Real as well as some shoe percussion courtesy of some Dunlop volleys. They have some more shows coming up and they would be much more enjoyable as headliners.

John Steel Singers made us wait an extra twenty minutes, but it was worth it. They are fast becoming one of Australia’s most talked about bands, especially after the release of their debut album Tangalooma. While the record is great, the songs really come to life in a live setting. The band’s brass section makes them stand out from other bands in the genre and adds another dimension to their music that is particularly noticeable live. Old favourite Strawberry Wine got the crowd’s attention early with enough woo-hoos to satisfy the harshest pop fan.  However it was Overpass that got the best response, prompting a mass sing-along. Finishing with Rainbow Kraut, which highlighted the band’s knack for harmonies, the only disappointment was that the set only went for 40 minutes.

Jonathan Boulet must be one of the busiest men in Australian music. Not only does he play drums in Parades, he has a solo album due out later this year. Joined by a four piece band they launched into an energetic version of 3 2 1 Ready or Not causing mass dancing from the crowd. This pace continues for the rest of the gig with very few breaks between songs. One thing that must be mentioned about Jonathan Boulet is his attention to percussion. With both a drummer and a percussionist, the band created strong tribal beats that made it impossible to stand still. Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die was a great example of this while A Community Service Announcement made everyone forget about work the next morning. A new song was previewed and stood up well against the old favourites. While Boulet didn’t play any of his slower numbers, there were certainly no complaints and closer You’re A Animal showed why he is one of the best regarded indie musicians in the country.

While there were audible groans when the house music came back on, for a few hours we were able see some of the best Australian music going around and  forget about work the next day.

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2 comments on “John Steel Singers, Jonathan Boulet @ The Corner 30/03/11

  1. Lachy says:

    Nice review, tons better than mine. I had a bit of an off night, but still enjoyed the show. Kind of wish I caught Parking Lot Experiments now.

  2. Lauren says:

    I really enjoyed it, but it was the first time I saw either band live. Parking Lot Experiments were ace in a bizarre kind of way.

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