Live Review: Crooked Colours + Nyxen + Kayex – Forum Theatre, Melbourne (25.05.19)

If Langata, Crooked Colours’ sophomore album was enough to get the dance juices pumping in your system, then their live performance of the album would have almost sent a person over the edge.

The night opened with Sydney via Perth duo, Kayex. Their raucous brand of electronica was not lost on the burgeoning crowd, as slowly a hearty dance pit formed and the duo were off and running.

This strong opening start was then compounded by Nyxen. With an independent stage presence alongside her production equipment, the solid thud of her bass kept the pulse thumping and the hum of the floor to a minimum as new and old tracks “Running”, “The Monologue” and “Chains” kept the crowd content as they eagerly awaited the arrival of Crooked Colours onto the stage.

Nyxen

For a music style that emphasises a perfect union between the electronic production and live acoustic timing, Crooked Colours seem to have no live match. Throughout Saturday’s performance, the trio: Phillip, Leon and Liam were in wonderful harmony never dropping a beat within the hazardous synchronisation of styles. Langata was the centrepiece of the tour and both the Melbourne crowd and Crooked Colours were ready to celebrate its release in style, transforming the classical aesthetic of the Forum into a thumping rave for the evening.

Liam Merrett-Park crushing the drums

While the darker tones of Langata were getting the limelight, fans of Crooked Colours debut, Vera weren’t going to be let down, with some of the album’s fundamental tracks playing a large role during the set. “Vera” was used as a bridge for the set, allowing the trio a little time to bump around the stage themselves before leading into the second half of the evening. The track was used as a flawless setup for some of the heavier tracks, while “Perfect Run”, Vera’s final work was instrumental dynamite closing down the Forum with some of the thicker live production work of recent memory.

“Lose Someone”, “I C Light”, and “Do It Like You” were some of the highlights of the evening’s set, with Liam’s drum solo, leading out of the bridge of “Do It Like You”, pushing the already rowdy crowd to let out a thundering roar deep into the latter stages of the night. “Never Dance Alone” was also a special track, originally recorded with Ladyhawke, the vocal position seemed like it would be taken by a recording until Melbourne’s own pop sensation Owl Eyes joined the trio on stage.

Owl Eyes helping out at the Forum

Yet, it was the penultimate track of the set “I’ll Be There” that stole the show, as Phillip’s vocals and Leon’s mastery of production emphasised the band’s talent to transfer their technical and layered works to the live stage. The transition can often be difficult and not every band can manage to make it work with their complicated works, but Crooked Colours made it seem business as usual, pumping out track after track with relative ease.

 

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Crooked Colours’ Langata tour heads out of Melbourne and continues in New Zealand, hitting Wellington on the 31st before heading through to Auckland on the 1st of June.

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