Down in Australia for a National Tour and some Festival spots this May, UNKLE started their tour with a standing room only gig at Billboard in Melbourne. Their support for the night was local abstract electronic band TANRUMS who also are currently accompanying them on their nationwide tour (except at the Opera House for you Sydney UNKLE fans).
With news of UNKLE’s Opera House gig with an Orchestra, TANTRUMS set about organising some string accompaniment for their Melbourne gig, and considering how well this was received on the night hopefully this is something they repeat over the tour and on their return to Melbourne. Mainly a percussion and synthesiser heavy band, TANTRUMS have set a precedent for themselves and their future creative pursuits. Although there is a lead singer in Jade McInally, this is not a traditional band structure. Each member appears to work as part of the one organism, smooth is too sexual a word to describe the mellow beats but you could certainly close your eyes and sail away in them. So well received were they that when it came time to finish the set the audience was shouting out for more.
Handpicked by UNKLE for the tour, this was an enormous accomplishment for Tantrums considering they have only released one single ‘Anomie’ and an album is only on the horizon. However, after the buzz they generated at this year’s Camp A Low Hum in New Zealand it was only a matter of time before they were snapped up for bigger and greater things. This tour will certainly expose the rest of Australia to the electronic four-piece and no doubt they will be called out of Melbourne again.
Returning to Australia after a Big Day Out trek in 2008, UNKLE are back touring their new and critically acclaimed album Where Did The Night Fall. This most recent effort of UNKLE contains some impressive collaborations from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and TV On The Radio. Despite the lack of those big names on stage however, UNKLE still delivered. Aided by backing visuals and the band’s well known dramatic electro and fleshy synth sound, the audience was more than happy to see them back.
Of particular note was the performance of their new song ‘Money and Run’ featuring vocals from Nick Cave. The only way the song would have been presented better was if Cave was on stage too; instead a giant screen at the back of the stage had his gyrating body moving ten feet high as his face gazed down upon the audience and signature murderesses’ voice lamented his criminal instinct. The same characteristics were prevalent throughout UNKLE’s set; the grandeur of the band’s history is complemented by its ability to constantly evolve its sound. This latest instalment is clearly influenced by a more psychedelic rock and dark/masculine stage presence of the same calibre of those they have chosen to collaborate with.
– Hannah Joyner