Visiting the Oxford Art Factory was a new experience for me, and King Cannons made it one worth remembering. Big enough to pack in a crowd, but small enough to be relatively intimate, the show put on last Friday was filled with some of Australia's finest up-coming rock acts.
The Strums opened the night, and despite part of the crowd sitting down right in front of them, they launched into an energetic and solid set.
Quickly realising that they weren't some boring, half-baked opening act, everyone was on their feet pretty quickly. They put their enjoyable pop-rock - tinged with some early rock influences - on show, and they were fun to watch. Given time to refine their sound and develop it into something a bit more distinct, this band could do quite well, especially on the local circuit.
Like the rest of the bands on the night, The Strums had an eye-catching stage presence, and they did a good job of getting the crowd ready for the rest of the evening.
Jackson Firebird were up next, and came quite close to rivalling King Cannons - they were captivating in every sense. Bringing with them armfuls of gritty, fast, and distorted rock, the duo took to the stage with their breakneck-speed rolls and explosive riffs.
Dale Hudak, who was on percussion and vocal duties, spent a couple of tracks on the floor instead of behind the drum kit. Hitting some kind of mic-ed up box and what looked like a washboard, two different items with a very limited musical output, the audience's sense of excitement grew. While many would call it a gimmick, seeing Hudak throw his whole body into each strike was just as entertaining as watching someone behind the kit, and it sounded great.
Jackson Firebird did exactly what a support act is meant to - they fired up the crowd. They're definitely going to be a band to look out for in the future.
Around 10.30 the curtains began to part, and King Cannons took to the stage.
Filling the room with their brand of explosive, sing-a-long rock, they were on fire from the very beginning. Not being strangers to sizeable crowds, having supported The Living End recently, they knew how to put on a good show.
Luke Yeoward stood front and center, and his enthusiasm really threw the whole band's music out to take hold in the crowd. The energy and vigour that came forth from himself and the other band members was something to behold. King Cannons looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves on stage, and that translated to the audience enjoying themselves more too.
I've said it before, but never have I seen a band with such a suave, and consistently stylish stage presence. Tattoos galore and that sixties-rocker look have never suited a band more, and I can't imagine anyone else pulling it off so effectively.
King Cannons do fun rock like no other band. The kind of rock that's a bit rough around the edges, but smooth and infectious enough to hook into you and keep you listening. The kind of rock that makes you want to get up and dance a bit. And they do it very well indeed.
There are a few dates left of the 'Shot To Kill' Tour, so drop by and check them out!
THU NOV 10 – SOL BAR – MAROOCHYDORE
www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545
FRI NOV 11 – BEACH HOTEL – BYRON BAY
SAT NOV 12 – OLD MUSEUM – STUDIO #1 – BRISBANE
www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545