Thursday night saw Perth’s Brow Horn Orchestra and friends take to the Llama Bar for their debut single launch. And a successful night it was too, with the show being a sell out by the time the band took to the stage. Not too shabby for a debut launch. Of course this isn’t any ordinary band, and without sounding like I am exaggerating too much they really are a force of nature, creating tunes which are irresistibly fun and intoxicatingly happy.
Other than getting a single launched, the main purpose of the show was to try and raise money to get the band across East; so prepare yourselves East Coasters. The night started with local hip-hip artist Delirious and partner/collaborator Ol Wright. Now I confess to having the most basic of knowledge when it comes to all things hip-hop and rap related. So I am perhaps not the best judge of quality. But I thought the duo were a great way to kick start the evening; and the crowd certainly seemed to agree. They were certainly confident on stage and knew how to work the crowd. For me the highlight of their set was the track "Truth", which featured some great lyrical moments. My only issue was that I felt at times they could have done with having their mic turned up just a little, as at time I couldn’t understand a word they were saying – but that could just be me.
Following on from there were fellow locals Boom! Bap! Pow!. They are a band I have heard much about but never had the chance to see live until now and with 3 exclamation marks in their name you certainly expect them to be good. I am pleased to say they more than lived up to my expectations. They really are a band with a sound from another time; there is a fantastic fifties and sixties feel to them, which really works for them. Not only that their songs are fantastic and pretty varied in tempo and theme, with a few songs about “feelings and stuff” chucked in there for good measure. Lead Singer Novac Bull’s vocals are a delight to hear, absolutely sublime; full of depth and passion. The band compliments them perfectly with some wonderfully eclectic intstrumentation (incl Flute, Sax and Banjo) and some fantastic guitar work throughout.
Then it was time for the Brow to take to the stage, somehow managing to fit everyone on there without too much injury. Impressive given that they seem to have gained a few extra members, notably the Soulaverse Choir, for the night. From the outset the energy levels were turned to the max with nearly 100 punters jumping around from about two bars into the opening number. A single launch like this really highlights the incredible diversity of a Brow Horn audience, there were parents accompanying their kids (or vice versa), indie kids, hip-hop aficionados and much more all rubbing shoulders and dancing along to some great music. Band leader Nic Owen and co seemed to have taken it all up a notch for the launch, opening with a new song, and proceeding to kill it there from then on.
Old crowd favourites such as "We Were Where The Heart Is" got a great reception, as did a few of the other previously heard songs, with the new singles getting a great response from the crowd; and rightly so. Both "Goliath" and "Don’t You Want To Sing Forever?" being fantastic songs, with the latter having an amazingly fun horn riff which should never fail to get the crowd moving. The band on a whole seemed to be in fine form, with the Horn section sounding better than ever, and the combined vocals being of a supreme quality. The band were joined onstage later in the set by producer Donovan De Souza for a track, the perfect moment for him to be recognised for his production on the single.
All in all it was a fantastic night of music. I unfortunately couldn’t stay for the final DJ set. But by the time The Brow had left the stage, it was gone midnight, and the prospect of having only 4 hours of sleep before an 8 hour shift was not an exciting prospect. But all in all it was a fantastic night that not only highlighted some of the great talent Perth has on offer, but also a night which was a feast for both the eyes and the ears, with some fantastic and eclectic video accompaniment from VJzoo. It’s clear that The Brow Horn are a band who are on the rise, and have the potential to become as big around the rest of Australia as they are fast becoming in Perth.