Sunday night rolls around too early, as usual, and my body is ready to hibernate in preparation for another work week. The Shadow Electric has other ideas: the third night of their ‘Visions’ series at Estonian House has a lineup too good to miss. It doesn’t take long to convince me to get off the couch and head on over to Melville Rd for the second time in two days.

I arrive and Sex on Toast are already doing their thing. There is something about the ten piece that both eludes and excites me and after several shows I still haven’t been able to work out if their electrifying combination of throwback styles is a genuine homage or a very well done parody. Or both. In any case, they always work a room into a frenzy, whether it’s through Commodores inspired grooves or their songs that emulate the soul based pop of the 90s, the crowd is always dancing. Tonight is no exception on either front as Angus Leslie and co. confidently deliver their set and the party they are clearly having on stage boils over into the tightly packed audience. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band have quite so much fun and still sound so good. And the crowd love it, rocking along to the last note of set closer ‘Oh Loretta.’

As The Bombay Royale logo appears on the screen behind the stage, the sold out crowd take their cue and the band follow the applause by kicking off with an instrumental accompanied by video that could almost have been opening credits, fitting for the cinema inspired ensemble. The Skipper introduces The Tiger and The Mysterious Lady and the band set the room afire with a high energy rendition of ‘Henna Henna’ before they try out a handful of new tracks on the eager fans.

It seems as if no time has passed when I hear the synth intro for ‘Bunty Bunty,’ and it’s only at the end of the song that I realise they’re six songs in. The old adage about time flying as true as ever and before long The Bandit Priest steps out from behind his keyboard to play the mournful harmonica of ‘Gyara 59’ cooling it down, before The Tiger heats things up again with ‘The Bombay Twist’ and finishing up with ‘Wild Stallion Mountain’ which also features the best visual accompaniment of the night. They can hardly finish the song as the audience prematurely breaks into rapturous applause.

Early in their set, The Mysterious Lady verbalised what, I assume, everyone was thinking: that this beautiful venue should be used every weekend. If ‘Visions’ has proved anything, it’s that there is life in the Estonian House yet and if anyone can revitalise the old girl, it’s the team from The Shadow Electric. I have high hopes for its future.

Wes Fahey

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