Sydney’s Deep Sea Arcade finished up their Welcome Home / Black Cat tour at The Corner on Saturday night, supported by Hey Geronimo and Lurch & Chief. Having spent the majority of the year in the UK, it was their first Melbourne show in almost 12 months and their fans were excited to see their return.

Lurch & Chief opened up the evening with their winning combination of overdriven bass, relatively clean guitars and the double headed vocal attack. The bluesy growl of Hayden Somerville complement the more graceful vocals of Lili Hall, creating an exquisite contrast for the most part and even more beautiful harmonies at other points in the songs. In their latest single ‘We Are The Same’, Hall uses an effects pedal to create artificial and stunning harmonies, filling out the chorus while Somerville sang his own parts. It was a short set, only half an hour, but they had a wonderful energy and it was not without impact.

Brisbane’s Hey Geronimo injected a whole lot of energy into the crowd with their very fast paced set. Despite their apology for playing a slower song, the music was perpetually upbeat and even their slower songs still had everyone dancing. Guitarist Pete Kilroy and bassist Bill Bingley had an exceptional chemistry on stage and Bingley’s harmonies with Kilroy’s melodies worked perfectly together. Their regular guitarist Ross Pearson was absent but his replacement didn’t disappoint, nor did local trumpet for hire Kelly O’Donohue who brought her horn to the party.

Whatever excitement Hey Geronimo brought to the crowd at The Corner, the sound guy felt fit to sap it by playing Johnny Cash’s greatest hits between their set and Deep Sea Arcade’s. As much as I enjoy Johnny Cash, after the high energy performance of Hey Geronimo, it just seemed an odd choice and it really lowered the room. The opening chords of ‘Seen No Right’ perked the crowd up as the curtain parted and Nic McKenzie and co. kicked off their set. The band were perfectly on song but the vocal effects and harmonies that give their album, Outlands, its unique sound were notably missing and even when backing vocals were being sung, they were hardly audible. I couldn’t tell if the sound guy was bad at his job, inattentive or just didn’t like Deep Sea Arcade.

The set was full of great songs from Outlands as well as a few newer songs including their latest single ‘Black Cat’ and the ordinary sound didn’t stop the crowd from having a great time and enjoying a great show. Everyone drank and danced and sang and raised their hands in the air after McKenzie darted off stage to grab a camera to take a crowd shot before they played their surf-rock hit ‘Lonely In Your Arms’. After ending up the set with album opener ‘Outlands’ the crowd chanted for one more and were treated to an encore performance of The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Let Forever Be’, which went down a treat at the end of the night and, for Deep Sea Arcade, the end of what I can only hope was a triumphant homecoming tour.

Wes Fahey

FULL GALLERY HERE

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