Arriving as Melbourne band I, A Man take the stage, the venue is packed out with the boisterous and eclectic crowd of a Saturday night in the city, Battling through the crowd to the bar and then down to the front, the stage curtains part amid cheers from the sold-out venue. Opening track ‘Chores’ quickly kicks things into gear, with guitarists Ash Hunter and Daniel Moss building delicate harmonies around the hypnotic rhythm section of drummer Sumner Fish and bassist Erik Rene.
They channel a sound somewhere between the layered, methodical melodies of Mogwai or Deerhunter and the danceable rhythms and folkiness of Wild Nothing. Three tracks in and ‘I Ran My Ghoul’, the first song tonight from their EP Fifteen Thirty Three has Hunter take up the tom at the front of the stage, driving the song along with drummer Fish providing plenty of interesting fills.
I , A Man are clearly a well rehearsed and tight unit, all talented musicians in their own right. Daniel Moss’ singing is whimsical without being flippant, at times reminiscient of a younger Thom Yorke, the rest of the band capably providing backups. Their set builds into more danceable numbers ‘Big Ideas’ and ‘Jimmy Schnall’, getting the audience down the front moving.
Bass player Erik Rene bounces around the stage, obviously having a great time, and the energy of the band is infectious as more people start dancing. ‘Haight-Ashbury’, also off the EP, is a standout track, the guitars a little bit more garagey than other songs, showcasing the diversity of their sound. Closing song ‘Subterraneans’ has supporting band ‘The Colour Age’ take the stage again, adding in keyboards and guitars to really build to a fitting ending for a fantastic show.
I, A Man come highly recommended, and with a seemingly never ending run of shows coming up, check them out while they’re still playing venues where you can get near the stage.
– Shaun Thatcher