@ Jack Rabbit Slim’s
18/08/2017 (Live Review)
– COMPLEX UK
“A valiant return..”
– INDIE SHUFFLE
“..an exceptional blend of raw instrumentation and electronic elements..”
– ACID STAG ★★★★
As patrons entered through the false refrigerator doors into Jack Rabbit Slim’s club section, it became even clearer that the night ahead would be nothing but cool. The venue brought just the right amount of funkiness for the boys of Crooked Colours, who were set to grace the stage in their hometown of Perth on the night of August 18th.
MUTO was a fitting choice to open for the band, being of the electronic genre himself, and groovy in his own right. He left fans in high spirits, seeing them bopping along to the break music, many with drinks in hand.
Relaxed anticipation. The atmosphere felt elated and excited, though still laid back. A definite turn in the tempo of the music came about as the boys rolled down from the cage to the stage, signalling the start of their performance. The three-piece ran down the club’s steps in a cool and coordinated fashion, as smoke, and strong cheers from the crowd, filled the air. Patterned colours of pink, purple and blue, closely resembling the cover art of their first album Vera, appeared on the backdrop. The lighting complemented in a similar fashion.
The electronic trio kicked things off with Come Down from their 2014 EP, which faded into Plymouth, the second track of their latest album. The group gained the undivided attention of the crowd from the minute they hit the stage. Both songs worked well to introduce their act, creating an initially slower build up for the more upbeat songs which were still to come.
As the intro came to a close, vocalist and guitar player Philip Slabber addressed the crowd directly as “Perth” with warmth and respect, before announcing their next song, Come Back To You.
Phil has an undeniable seduction about him. He got low for pivotal lyrics like “I always do” and “come back to you” as if to be singing them to particular girls of the crowd. The rising up and down fashion of his movement was all very sexual. The distortion of his lyrics means he’s the only one who can really sing them, making them his own, and allowing him to maintain the audience’s one-hundred percent focus throughout the entire performance.
Barefoot, rocking the keyboard, Leon De Baughn gave Perth a warm welcome and described how good it was to be doing a hometown show. He then introduced the next song, one of their older tracks, In Your Bones. The aggressive synths from this guy are like nothing else you’ve heard.
Though drummer Liam Merret-Park didn’t make verbal contact with the audience, he said enough through his drumming to really connect with everyone who was watching.
The venue boasts a 450-person capacity, yet the show still remained very intimate. The band managed to connect with the crowd in a way that’s not seen at your average gig. Bodies were heavy dropping to the beat, each person very immersed in the music. There was no pushing and shoving. Everybody was there to have a good time and gave other fans their space to equally enjoy the performance.
The same pattern continued into the VIP cage area, overlooking the stage and the general crowd. Friends and family filled the cage, some even sitting on lounges. Slabber’s mother watched her son and his bandmates in awe with a glass of white wine in hand. She was beaming with pride. This further added to the cosy feel of the night.
DEBUT ALBUM VERA OUT NOW
The band thanked fans for listening to their first album and stated that they couldn’t be happier, before announcing that a good part of the track was about to play; the title track, Vera.
A good chemistry existed between the band. They laughed amongst each other on a few occasion and sunk a few beers while they were at it. Capricious played next, and with the close of that the lights came up bright. I Hope You Get It then begun, the only song with a feature on the album. Ivan Ooze was not present, but a local Perth rapper took the stage instead and rocked the show in Ooze’s absence, with a Drapht Aussie Hip-hop kind of feel. The rapper referred to Crooked Colours as Perth royalty, and did a brilliant job of maintaining the hype that was created before him. He mentioned the venue in his seeming freestyle rap, which gave the night just another personal touch.
Running Blind was next, followed by All Eyes and Show Me. The bass was through the roof. You could feel it in your body, and it even had the restrooms shaking. The more hard hitting tracks had begun to play and the vibe of the room was as strong as ever.
Flow, one of the album’s best-received tracks on Triple J, was up next. With its closure, the boys climbed back up to the cage, leaving fans very confused. The crowd was well aware Crooked Colours had more for them. The three-piece electronic hydra climbed right back down to say they were “just fucking around” and had two more songs to play.
Another Way came next. In the same way as the start of their performance, the next two songs were the perfect selections to end things. The entire set had incredible flow and built up excellent momentum, before fading out with a bang.
The next song concluded the set, which is a six-minute track that also ends the album. The build-up in this song keeps you on the edge of your seat, and just when you think you know where it’s going to take you, it pleasantly surprises you with something even better. Something very “them”. The track is called Perfect Run and I can’t think of two better words to describe their entire performance at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.
FESTIVAL TOUR DATES:
Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October | Yours and Owls, Stuart Park, Wollongong NSW
Saturday 4 November | This That, Wickham Park, Newcastle NSW
Saturday 25 November | Spilt Milk, Commonwealth Park, Canberra, ACT