Review: The Avalanches at The Enmore, Sydney

With great debut records, comes great follow-up responsibility. The Avalanches, widely acclaimed as one of Australia’s best musical exports, returned from extended hiatus to bless Sydney with the gift of their plunderphonics. Their 2016 release ‘Wildflower’ was one of the most hotly anticipated records of the decade. Despite the pressures of succeeding the phenomenal ‘Since I Left You’, fans lapped up the release and were ready to see it all unfold live.

Grandmaster Flash warmed up the sold-out Enmore Theatre. The crowd heaved with bodies on a balmy Sydney night. Soon enough, the main course arrives to thunderous applause. In their current form, The Avalanches are made-up of originals Robbie Chater on bass and Tony Di Blasi on turntables. To translate the magic of their music, the duo are joined live by Spank Rock as MC, Paris Jeffree on drums and Eliza Wolfgramm on vocals. The night kicks off with the newly released ‘Because I’m Me’ and the crowd responds enthusiastically – the whole venue now a dancefloor. I was lucky enough as one of the seemingly few females in the audience to be groped by an overzealous drunk attendee. Thankfully he soon disappeared into the crowd to grind on someone to ‘Frankie Sinatra’.

Whilst the musical performance was on point, you’ve got an MC roaming the stage with the prowess of a rapper not quite sure what to do with their hands and a soul singer also trying to work the room. It’s busy up there and in all honesty, it’s a little awkward to witness in the beginning. Soon enough the performance comes together around ‘Flight Tonight’ and the room is pure sweat. If there were still people in the room, I couldn’t see them. It was a true celebration of old and new as the diverse audience spanned the age brackets generously.

The night was not without a Clash cover (Guns of Brixton) and a special appearance. Melbourne’s Oscar Key Sung guested on tracks like ‘Colours’ and ‘If I Was A Folk Star’ before disappearing to the beat of ‘Frontier Psychologist’ which set the room on fire. Maybe you remember hearing that song on Rage for the first time, or in the car on triple j. The nostalgia thick encouraged a complete arms in the air reaction from a sea of excited patrons. After only brief pause we’re treated to an encore. The night delightfully descends into ‘Electricity’, ‘The Noisy Eater’ and the classic ‘Since I Left You’ to close out the show.

Whilst many musical acts re-emerge from obscurity only to disappoint, The Avalanches aren’t one of them. As fresh as it was nostalgic, the night shone brightly for all in attendance. With a few more live gigs under their belt to firm up the staging/performance, they’ll be on their way to a 10/10 show.

The Avalanches play at Sugar Mountain on Jan 21. Details here:

Samantha Dickson


Review by Samantha Dickson. (Live snap from Colin Delaney’s Instagram).