Review: The Kite String Tangle in Sydney

The Kite String Tangle by Markus Ravik

Brisbane-based electronic/alternative artist The Kite String Tangle brought his ‘Illuminate Tour’ to Sydney’s Metro Theatre last Thursday night. With him were friends JOY. and Dustin Tebbutt. The sold-out event saw people packed in like sardines, happy to be squished together while listening to the holy trinity of indie-pop artists.

Brisbane babe JOY. (Olivia McCarthy) was first to hit the stage and stunned with her sultry, breathy vocals that melt into the electronic beats. This teenager is an example of the incredible young musical talent that is booming out of Australia.

Next up was the man who is the epitome of handsome-folk, Dustin Tebbutt. Rocking a kind of nerdy-chic that makes me blush a little, Tebbutt’s set was a magical wonderland created out of the echoing of his voice and his romantic melodies.

The crowd let out a huge roar as the bespectacled New South Welshmen kicked into his 2014 hit, ‘Bones’.

One-man-music-making-machine, The Kite String Tangle (you can call him Danny Harley) hit the stage at 10pm on the dot, encouraging a monstrous applause and screams from the audience. At this point there were people covering every square inch of the Metro Theatre, just shy of holding on to the rods on the ceiling.

Opening his set with ‘What If’, Harley bounced around in his cage/booth-looking device equipped with its own lights, as well as the stage lights flashing white every millisecond, I hope no one in the crowd had epilepsy.

Rolling through ‘Trinkets’ and ‘Words, it’s easy to see that the Brisbane boy has nailed the art of juxtaposing sweet and heavy, with his creamy vocals, that are a slightly smoother version of Chet Faker’s, and the pulsating portly beats.

JOY. made a brief return with the main man, lending those aforementioned sultry, breathy vocals in place of Tiana Khasi for ‘Stone Cold’. Back on his own again, hit us with ‘Commotion’ before drawing a wildcard and covering Tebbutt’s ‘The Breach’. In the most respectable and beautiful fashion, of course.  I mean, the original artist was standing just off-stage; talk about pressure!

Absolute crowd favourites were ‘Arcadia’ and ‘Given The Chance’, and I know this to be true by the amount of dancing that ensued. Unfortunately though, killing my vibe were a bunch of young women next to me bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans. But hey, I get it. The music takes over sometimes.

Announcing that Tebbutt would join him on stage for an encore, Harley departed for a minute to prepare. The two returned together, looking like the perfect picture for the cover of an indie magazine and performed José González’ ‘Heartbeats’ and their own colab, ‘Illuminate’. What an experience to hear those two individually stunning voices mesh together in perfect unison to create one succinct, soulful sound.

It’s always a challenge to attend the gig of artists that you’ve not had a lot of exposure to. Particularly when an entire crowd begins to sing along in unison and you’re left standing there in a kind of embarrassing daze.

In saying so, it is the triumph of said artists when you leave thinking that this is possibly the best live gig you’ve seen in a long time.

Yay for young Australian music!



 Review by Annastasia Robertson. Photo by Markus Ravik taken with love from the Kite String Tangle’s Instagram page.