The John Steel Singers have just released their sophomore long player and they’re heading out on an 11 date expedition, visiting almost every corner of the country. They kicked off their Everything’s a Thread album tour with a cracking show at Ding Dong Lounge on Friday night, with support from fellow Brisbanians Go Violets and Melbourne’s own Neighbourhood Youth.

It was only a very small crowd that caught Neighbourhood Youth’s early set and I can honestly say, everyone else missed out. Their music was fantastic – cleverly crafted indie rock songs that were very easy to listen and dance to and pretty much everyone in the room was enjoying it. The mix wasn’t fantastic, which was disappointing as it was difficult to hear, let alone understand, John Philip’s vocals but the music itself, and especially the groove from the bass, stood well on their own.

Go Violets set was not quite what I was expecting when the 4 ladies from Brisbane took to the stage. Maybe it was because Alice the guitarist was sporting a Damn Terran shirt, but I was expecting them to be a bit heavier and was surprised by their sound. Their songs were basically indie pop, with a bit of surf rock sound thrown in and they seemed pretty simple for the most part, which worked in their favour as the crowd got into it pretty quickly. They shared the lead vocals around, with Alice and Phoebe doing the duties for the most part while drummer Ruby came out and fronted a couple as well, keeping the set fresh and exciting.

The John Steel Singers came on stage and opened up with the title track from their latest album and took it straight into album opener ‘Happy Before’, which featured some of their best 4 part harmonies of the night. Just after they played their pompous marching track ‘Masochist’, multi-instrumentalist Pete Bernoth lamented his lack of hair, having recently shaved his head for charity – raising $10,000 in the process – saying “I don’t know what to do with myself.” before they played another new one, ‘State of Unrest’.

‘MJ’s On Fire Again’, the 4th track on Everything’s a Thread, took the set in a different direction, albeit briefly, with its slow groove and funk guitars and it was a real highlight for me, not just because it has a brilliant title, but because it’s a great song that really shows off Tim Morrisey’s impressive falsetto. Some others obviously agreed, with a few ‘woo’s emanating from the crowd to which Tim said “A ‘woo’ is much more impressive between bands than a clap” which resulted in plenty more ‘woo’ing between songs.

They decided not to leave and do the fake encore but Tim still asked for us to “do that clap that gets too fast too quickly” to fulfill their “ginormous egos”, and the crowd obliged. Pete quickly jumped offstage then back on again as they played ‘Common Thread’ off the new album before finishing up with an incredible performance of ‘Rainbow Kraut’, capping off an all-round brilliant show. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy of their new album from the merch desk before I headed home.

Wes Fahey


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