Monday, November 16, 2009


Friday, December 21, 2007 
Wesley Anne

Despite the relatively low turnout, it doesn't take much to get a warm feeling generated in The Empress, particularly when you're as engaging and amiable as the frontmen of these two bands. Oh Mercy seem to be doing little to draw attention to themselves of late but continue to pull out rip-roaring live performances such as tonight's. Even if most of the lyrics are lost to the bare-brick reverberation of the Wesley Anne's walls, there is clearly much to appreciate about Oh Mercy. Alexander Gow's presence is an absorbing one and the band more-than-ably back his lyrical forays into what is increasingly seeming like intelligent power pop on tracks like the blissful rush of Too Far To Please and swells and sighs of That's The Point. Expect their profile to take them up another notch come the release of their album. I am getting tired of saying these guys are ones to watch but there, I've said it again.

Richard In Your Mind play only their second ever Melbourne show (previous show the night before) and seem genuinely happy to be here. Winners of a slot on this 2007's BDO stage and riding on the back of their new (and very feted) CD The Future Prehistoric, there was a genuine joy at playing that showed no hint of the lethargy that some Sydney band's have after the 10-hour drive down. Opening with single The New Sun, their tightly reined psychedelic pop is as arresting as you could hope with singer Richard Cartwright's vital and buoyant lyrics channeling a near Perry Farrell- clarity that effortlessly propels the song toward it's jubilant finish. It's a warm, imaginatively original and positive start which the rest of the set maintains. Following song The Boat is Rocking is a more rhythmic number whose highlight is the detonation of a confetti cannon by remote control and flashes from a low-level strobe light that suddenly takes us the UFO club circa 1968. Nice.
The subtle use of samples and effects adds another edge to this already prodigious four-piece but never detracts from the plethora of ideas RIYM bring. Skeletons ends with a harrowing echoed scream, The Green Sun is fleshed out by some glorious delay guitar and bubbly synth work from Joel Werner and Conrad Richters respecitvely, Dark Energy with it's lyrics Cartwright laughingly admits were cribbed from a documentary (It seems / That dark energy / Will defeat gravity / And succeed in stretching the universe / Into oblivion) yet makes it into a gorgeous near-lament at the nature of physics are all high points. It's a short but dynamite set, and one that acts as a taster for their next shows here in April.

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