Words can’t really explain the level of anticipation with which I had been feeling in the lead up to tonight’s Dappled Cities show – not only is Zounds one of my favourite Australian albums ever (Lake Air is a smashing record too), but for the past few years, I had seemed to miss the band whenever they were in town for one reason or another. Tonight however, not only was the band playing on my old uni campus, but they seemed to be in fine form, going off all the previous reviews I’d read of the tour so far.
Sincerely, Grizzly opened the night and unsurprisingly, there was barely anybody in the venue for them to perform to. They weren’t advertised anywhere (that I could see) as being the local supports for Dappled Cities, which was a shame, because they did well tonight. When I last saw them on tour with The Medics, it was clear that being on the road as long as they had been had taken its toll – they looked tired and lacked zeal when they performed. Tonight, they seemed like they had regained whatever had been missing that night at Jive, and performed a decent set. This is their last show for a while apparently, and considering the good things I’ve heard so far of their Doom and Gloom EP, it’s a well-deserved break these lads have ahead of them.
As the members of Jape set their instruments (some keyboards, a guitar and a drum pad) up onstage, I turned to see quite a few people had amassed inside the Unibar, but were still too chicken-shit to venture any further forward to the stage and for the most part, remained hanging back near the bar/merch area. The Irish two-piece were not what I expected, to say the least; they come across as being quite unassuming, yet when they began delving into some seriously funky electronic beats, I found myself having to readjust the perception I’d already begun to build in my head. It sucked that people didn’t seem to be fully immersing themselves in the set, because for the most part, it looked like Jape were awkward DJs at a wedding where everyone is still eating at the reception – there was polite applause and the random ‘whoop!’, but for the most part, the duo really had to push for a response. “Ocean of Frequency” and “Scorpio” stood out for me as two particular highlights and demonstrated the different types of sound and genre that Jape have been able to encompass and wrangle. Look Jape up on Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, whatever social media outlet you can – they’re definitely worth a listen.
I had been wondering about how Dappled Cities’ set list would be tonight; considering it had been so long since the band had toured, would it be leaning towards a nostalgia trip through their back catalogue, or would it be a complete showcase of Lake Air? A bit of both, as it turned out, and for the crowd (who had now edged to the front of the stage), it seemed like it was perfect blend. The band seemed to take a few songs to properly hit their stride, whether or not it was the size of the crowd, the lukewarm reaction to some songs or whatever else, I felt like we were all easing into the gig together. Between Tim Derricourt and Dave Rennick, Dappled Cities have two amazing vocalists, something I hadn’t really fully appreciated until now. “Holy Chord” was eerily gorgeous as ever, whilst new songs “Leopard” and “Real Love” were impeccable. Ned Cooke is a beast (as much as you can be behind a keyboard), showing some serious skills as the band took the new record for a spin with the Adelaide crowd tonight. “Born at the Right Time” and “Run With the Wind” were big favourites, unsurprisingly, while it was the latter which really sent chills down my spine; again, the vocals and pure performance quality of the Rennick-led song was on form tonight.
Although there was no encore, it didn’t really matter, Dappled Cities came, they performed, and they performed well. Always a group of musicians to leave their mark and impression on an audience, Dappled Cities know how to transition flawlessly between arrangement and vocal range without appearing disorganised or scattered onstage.
Please don’t be away for so long next time, that’s all I ask!