The Hi Fi in Melbourne fills up quickly as The Holidays take to the stage, their set ranging from winsome pop to tribal beats, with arch vocals recalling Bono’s croon on U2’s Achtung Baby. The extended jams recall much of the groundbreaking work of Talking Heads, while ‘Golden Sky’ has the sharp choppy guitar rhythms of Gang of Four, smothered in vocals sweet as vanilla ice cream.
Mystery Jets hit the stage to initially rather subdued lighting, opening with the guitar explosion of ‘Alice Springs’, the first track off 2010’s Serotonin, which quickly kick starts a party vibe that continues to build all night. ‘Half In Love With Elizabeth’ off 2008’s 21 shakes off the synthy strains of the Erol Alkan produced original to become a rocking tour de force, while the infectious rhythm of ‘Young Love’ (recorded and released as a duet with Laura Marling) is a crowd slayer, the whole bottom level of the venue turned in to one huge dance floor, front man Blaine Harrison revelling in the response. The post disco bash of ‘Melt’ sees guitarist Will Rees taking over lead vocals, before segueing into the sparking pop of ‘Two Doors Down’ which takes the gig to another level, with the crowd a sea of arms aloft, the band’s pop song writing smarts at their best.
Taking to the stage for an encore of ‘Lorna Doone’ and ‘Flash’ the band are clearly having a ball as they announce to the packed venue that they are going drinking at Cherry Bar after the show and invite everyone to join them. They find room for one final song, a rousingly received ‘Flakes’, the free Christmas single released at the end of 2007, and again the crowd can’t get enough, ensuring the band’s ongoing mutual love affair with Australia remains entirely consummated.