Børns and Moses Gunn Collective in Sydney
Supporting at Newtown Social Club we have Brisbane based psychedelic rockers, Moses Gunn Collective who mainly play cuts from their excellent album released last August, ‘Mercy Mountain’. They open their set with album highlight ‘Hole In The Wall’. It’s a great tune with a catchy falsetto hook in the chorus. The opening riffs to ‘Back Into The Womb’ and their biggest hit to date ‘Shalala’ are instantly recognizable and they translate as well as I expected in a live setting.
As interesting aspect to the band is their more country-tinged songs, such as ‘Mary’ and album title track, ‘Mercy Mountain’. The latter allows frontman, Aiden Moore to put down his guitar and prowl the stage like a possessed shaman. Moses Gunn Collective have quite a few decent tunes in their repertoire but, whilst a shambolic, loose performance is probably somewhat deliberate, I was expecting a more polished performance from a band that has been established since 2009.
For those who don’t know, Børns (Garrett Borns) is an LA-based, Michigan native who sounds like an indie prince sitting atop a throne of electro-glam pop. He was also a professional magician at the age of ten. He and his band of impeccable side musicians power through most of his debut album, ‘Dopamine’ opening with ‘Dug My Heart’. The sound is flawless. So polished and huge it belies the small intimate setting of Newtown Social Club. The second song in the set is a track everyone in the room knows. ’10,000 Emerald Pools’ gets everyone dancing and singing along in fine fashion. ‘Past Lives’, ‘The Emotion’ and ‘Dopamine’ are highlights amongst the mid-set tracks with Børns interacting with the audience in a comfortable and casual manner pampering them with compliments, praise and small anecdotes.
Most of the band leave the stage for a stripped down version of ’Clouds’ in which Børns has the audience completely transfixed. It’s one my favourite tracks from the album and reducing the song down to its bare essence exposes the underlying sentiment of romantic obsession well. The band picks up the pace again with ‘American Money’ and is in full swing when they close their magical set with an extended version of ‘Electric Love’, a rollicking glam rock tune which has the crowd gasping for breath by the end.
Børns return to the stage for an encore after lengthy applause with a cover of Elton John’s classic, ‘Benny & The Jets’ and album cut, ’Seeing Stars’. It’s a fine and appropriate finish to a set so solid you’d think Børns had been at this for decades.
I completely lost myself in the performance at times and this is one of those rare occasions where I feel like I witnessed something special.
Review by Dean Rostron.