Kicking off the night of two parts Sydney, one part Lunars were flying visitors, Mushu. Front woman Simone Macarounas leads the way through the band’s reflective and somewhat melancholy tunes, brooding vocals often wavering across the melody, allowing for a change in a tempo from the bass driven rythmn. This is none more evident in their debut single and closing number “Traps” where Simone ditches her synthesiser and switches back to rhythm guitar duties to ring out a set to treat the early bird punters.

Mid-evening headliners, Lunars have quickly forged a respected audience among the Melbourne scene whisperers. Some say it’s messy dream pop, some say it’s Thurstan Moore sleep walking through a fog banging sticks against a bin while Craig Nichols fiddles away with a whammy bar in a nearby tree. In the flesh, across the checker tiles of the room, it’s everything and more. It’s crafted, clever music played by a band on the rise.

Undeserved of the sparse surrounds and lead by the talent laden Andrew K, the band brought about a head turning opening that held the punter’s gaze for their all too short set. Gentle, but occasionally crunching chord progressions from the front man were traded with innovative lead of guitarist Alexander Bray while the tight rhythm section of Jaclyn Williams on bass and drummer Ollie Warburton tightly bulked up the sound.

Currently promoting their debut, three-track release there is much to be expectant of. Standout “Headliner” begins with a quirky, sweet and almost playful ukulele only to be layered with leaning vocals and chugging but unobtrusive guitars. The song meanders through clever lyrics without ever overbearing the overall melody before rounding out with Andrew K ditching the uke for another guitar to close out the cheery track.

Never a dull moment to be had during a Lunars set and hopefully many more to many more happy punters. See them now on home turf before they spend nine months a year globe trotting, teaching the kids how to dance.

The second group of Sydneysiders for the evening, Ranger Spacey wasted no time in hitting the stage with their dusty blend of country roots. Having forged some noted acclaim for their clanging southern twang, the band brought their second EP They Were Hills as ammunition for their flying Melbourne visit.

All the while, an appreciative crowd tapped away to the rattling tones but held back slightly, reserving any boot scooting for another night. Signing off with a raucus clang, Ranger Spacey should be back soon.

More beers and more sounds, please.

– Ciarán Wilcox.