White Arrows, Opossom and Jinja Safari live
Carol Bowditch manages to avoid the attention of horny 14-year-olds in order to review some fine bands:
I’d known that the Blind Date tour was going to be an all-ages show and had grimaced at the thought. I had nightmares of young girls shrieking at the roadies tuning guitars and teens fingerbashing each other just out of sight of their chaperoning parents’ gaze. The Metro Theatre in Sydney was filled with such young’uns, looking for a good time on a Friday night, lucky there was a section area for civil adults at the back.
The Blind Date Tour had brought over White Arrows and Opossum to support local lads Jinja Safari. I got there early to catch White Arrows, whose show I was highly anticipating after I had interviewed lead singer Mickey (pictured, below) and listened to their supreme album Dry Land is Not a Myth on repeat for several weeks. They did not disappoint either myself or the young crowd that squealed and fist pumped throughout the set. The renditions were rockier performed live than on the album, but still remained dancey at times and bathed in surfy, troppo vibes. Their cover of Springsteen’s I’m on Fire was alright, but the highlights were Get Gone and Roll Forever, taken from their debut.
Opossom took over to a dark stage, dressed in dark outfits. For the majority of the set, the band was hardly visible, bar flashes from cameras. It was way strange to see a band perform, (well not see much of) in the darkness. I am a big fan of Kody of the defunct Mint Chicks and Bic Runga, the solo songstress, both who make up two-thirds of Opossom, and with such high approval of these artists I would have hoped that I could’ve enjoyed them more. It was a disappointing haphazard mess of sound for the majority of the set; the music performed live departed greatly from the slick sweet summery music on their release Electric Hawaii. The only track worth mentioning was set-closer Cola Elixir, which was the best of a bad bunch of tracks from the band that seemed fairly unenthusiastic about being there.
Jinja Safari upped the ante after Opossom’s lacklustre performance. These guys were high energy from the opening song. They dominated the space with their passion and showmanship, exciting the kids up the front as well as harder-to-impress grownups way up the back of the venue. The popular track of last year, Hiccups, took over the room with fans singing along with the sweet harmonious vocals. The band took the opportunity to perform some new material as well. I liked one cheeky song about being a cheapskate while courting a lady, with the chorus lyrics “I could buy you a drink, if you could lend me the money”. Elsewhere, one track which was overloaded with novelty instruments, as the band tapped, plucked and bashed out a jam with bongos, a sitar and xylophone. Meanwhile, the bongo-driven Moon Child had the band members jumping about and climbing on speakers, to the delight of the punters.
The Jinjas returned half-naked for their encore performance of Mermaids. As a young, new band it was impressive to see them leave the entire room in high spirits after a hugely enjoyable live show of quality indie music.
Words and pictures by Carol Bowditch. More photos here. Listen here to a brand new track, written and performed by Jinja Safari and Kinfe, from the new Key Of Sea album. Kinfe is an African asylum seeker who was a professional musician in Africa. The Key Of Sea vol 2 is out on Oct 19 and features artists such as Chet Faker, Sophia Brous and Paul Kelly to name a few. http://soundcloud.com/thekeyofsea/silence-of-the-guns-radio-edit