Freshly Cut ft. Lions At Your Door + Paper Moon + Jack Colwell and The Owls - The Gaelic Club (19.08.10)


Radar Radio and Jim Beam have joined forces with The Gaelic Club in Sydney to present 'Freshly Cut' – a showcase of “some of Australia’s best upcoming artists”. Tonight, in it’s fifth installment, Sydney based Lions At Your Door celebrated the launch of their latest single with a spectacular show alongside fellow locals Paper Moon and Jack Colwell and The Owls.

First up, drowned in a sea of black, was one of Sydney’s most original groups - Jack Colwell and The Owls. Some may say they take a page out of the contemporary folk scene, others will hear a hinge of electronica – others will find reference in Patrick Wolf, others in Antony and the Johnsons, others from the depths of classical Spanish music, and others will simply know the style as “that of Jack Colwell and The Owls”. All would be correct.

Jack Colwell has taken his unique music tastes and transformed them into music which is truly a work of art. Does this mean it’s going to fit with everyone’s tastes? Just like all good art, of course not, but the mixes are too fascinating to ignore. Take “Hope Chest”, for instance, a track which brings together the harpischord with the violin and acoustic guitar. I felt like I was in a haunted house listening to some instrumental music from Spain. Maybe you just have to hear it to understand what I mean – but then again, you may experience something completely different.

Epic set opener “Picture Window”, which you can hear on their Myspace Page,, was probably my favourite of the night. And they followed this with another great track, “The Labyrinth”. In all, it took just ten minutes to already experience some violin, keyboard, guitar, flute and recorder. If that doesn’t tick all the boxes, I don’t know what does. A rousing cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” was the surprising choice to close out the set. Surprising all the more by the fact that somehow, it seemed to fit perfectly into the vast world Colwell had created on the stage. And perhaps that's the only criticism - the pure vastness kept the set from being the tightest, most precise of worlds, but something tells me this is improving with each show they play... A promising artist to say the least!

Three piece Paper Moon followed, as the venue slowly filled up for the main act. This is a group who are super tight – they come to do one thing and one thing only: play you their music, and they give it their all. In general, they’re a pretty chilled lineup, but they certainly rock out when they need to –  (lead singer and guitarist) Ryan and (bassist) Anastasi bouncing around the stage with their intruments in tow. You can tell they love American swing music and the blues – I note in particular their final track, in which Anastasi rocked a killer swing bass line. While they wear such influences on their sleeve, it’s a sound they make their own. Find out more about the band at their Myspace Page:

By the time Lions At Your Door hit the stage, it was great to see The Gaelic Club packing out – although many more should have been there to witness the opening act! 

While six piece Lions At Your Door don’t necessarily create a sound that you’d be unfamiliar with, the sort of bands you relate them too changes from song to song. At times, one would throw them into the category filled with artists such as the Gossip, Cassette Kids and Chaingang – the lofi catchy indie dance pop rock that fills our ears with so much joy. But at times, their whistling and doo-wop shows them channeling a bit of a 1940s vibe – either that or Cloud Control. Then there's a clear 60s homage running elsewhere. They even threw in a cover of The Boss’ “Dancer In The Dark”, which got the crowd dancing. 

The band were here to launch the “In A Sea” Single, and it was easily one of the highlights of the set, with Giselle guesting on the Chello, with plenty of piano, clapping and some sweet bass lines as accompaniment. If this is the direction the band is heading, I love it. It incorporates the dance floor vibe of their earlier tunes, but showcases a more matured sound. 

I feel Lions At Your Door encompassed the best parts of both their support bands – of Jack Colwell and The Owls, they borrowed a wide scope of influence, while retaining a sense of originality. Meanwhile, the tightness of Paper Moon served them to similar success. I know I keep putting too many bands on your "to watch" list - but don't be shy - be sure to stick Lions At Your Door on there, too.

Find out more about the band here:

And don't miss Freshly Cut next week! The series will close on August 26th with The Laurels, Zeahorse and Dark Bells. It should be a fantastic night.