Walking up to The Toff, it feels as if I should have a passcode at the ready. The dull red lighting that is cast over myself and the door man gives my stomach slight tremors of anxiety. From the inside I can hear an almost deafening laughter. I manage my way through the crowd of people to a seat in the back. Still, there’s too many bodies around me, too many people laughing and joking amongst themselves. Everyone seems to know everyone else. Except me, that is. I shuffle around to the back of the room. Onstage, two figures are viciously plugging in everything as fast as possible. This is my first time meeting Evangeline, though I doubt it will be the last.

Recently there has been an explosion in popularity of the morose electronic singer/songwriter genre in Melbourne. There’s the obvious in Chet Faker and the way he has dominated the charts, but the strange thing about Evangeline is how genuine she comes across. She grabs the mic and pulls herself into is as she sings over the faint beats. Her voice is strong yet quiet, and carries a sort of melancholy within. Even when covering Beyoncé it still remains.

Bands with vocalists who are also drummers have always been a source of wonder to me. Between having to keep a beat, having to memorise both words and patterns and executing at the same time without having one interfere with the other, it all just seems so intense and difficult to deal with. So to find that Bad Pony, a mix of pop, disco and the slightest tinge of punk, are fronted by one of these super humans shocks me. Clad in what is possibly the most paisley shirt ever, frontman Jarred Young has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand immediately.

The harsh synths blast out over The Toff, mixing with the thundering bass. Despite the poppy progression, the music is uncharacteristically heavy, with guitars sounding off like a pop punk set. It is strange to see the back of the stage completely vacant. During single ‘Michael Moore’, the crowd is invited onstage, and is more than welcome to oblige. Incredibly, the lended vocals from the crowd actually work, not dissimilar to an Against Me! show. After the set, the band literally turn on the spot to converse with the crowd members while finishing up.

Bee Spence

Photos via Annie & Ben Photography

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