The strength in which young Australians enjoy live music has never been doubted, it’s a past-time that has particularly been taken up by Melburnians. The Jungle Giants’ sold out show on their first ever headline national tour only reinforces the idea that gig-going at its best is the way the city youth like to party.
The ever expanding line-up of local band Them Swoops opened the evening. They’re becoming regulars on the live music scene, having supported a swathe of other acts in recent times – including The Maccabees, Ball Park Music, Last Dinosaurs – the group have found time to add a couple of new faces to the band.
While they continue to spruik their self described “sharp-fuzz guitar-psych wig-out explode-pop” sound, the outfit didn’t seem to be blowing the punters’ minds. Most of the small crowd were content with sitting on the ground, unperturbed by the bands effort to entertain them.
Luckily, the crowds apathetic mood soon subsided with Toucan’s arrival bringing them off their feet and up to the stage.
The duo bought more than enough synth beats to get the crowd into dance mode with songs from their Brave New World EP, as well their catchy new single, ‘Mr. Television’.
Pollard’s vocals – which can be at times reminiscent of Kimbra’s – sounds even more powerful live. The band were a perfect precursor for an audience that was very willing to get into the evening’s entertainment.
With the title track from The Jungle Giants second EP, ‘She’s A Riot’, receiving huge support through the Triple J airwaves, it wasn’t a surprise to see the station’s key demographic pack the venue.
However, the fact that the four-piece could not only sell out the venue, but to also have an eager audience that were more than willing to participate, off the back of just two EPs is a pretty outstanding feat.
The progress from last years self-titled debut EP to She’s A Riot is notable. Now picture yourself listening to it live, with a bunch of people singing and dancing around you. With the band already achieving this at their shows now, who knows just how far they could go.
Even though She’s A Riot has been released a few weeks, all five of the tracks played had each and every punter either doing their own enthusiastic toe tapping or in the case of the many female fans in attendance – a very enthusiastic amount of grooves were displayed. The outfit though, let the room settle down for the ‘ballad moment’ on ‘Like a Weight’.
Their cover of Band of Skulls’ ‘You Know What I Am’ sat comfortably between the original’s cool rock ‘n’ roll vibes and The Jungle Giants’ own pop sensibilities. As bassist Andrew Dooris dived into the crowd – much to the front row of fans’ delight – during their debut single, ‘Mr. Polite’.
While the choice for their final song was a forgone conclusion before the night had even began, the set highlight came with ‘You’ve Got Something’. It may not be as immediately infectious as ‘She’s a Riot’, but there’s no denying that it’s one of their best tracks.
With a crescendo towards an explosion of euphoric riffs, when played live, the song has all the right dynamics to make a lasting impression.
Predictably though the crowd’s participation spiked for their final song, ‘She’s a Riot.’ So much so, that it’s impossible not to end this review with a horrible pun about how it went off like giants rioting in a jungle…
– Corey Tonkin