Live Review: Jesse Davidson + Archers – Jive, Adelaide (28.11.15)

Jesse Davidson put on a solid Adelaide-bred line up of music over the weekend, with his hometown Lizard Boy EP launch bringing out some fresh faces and known legends. Held at Jive on Saturday night (no doubt a spiritual home/rite of passage for many 20-something year olds based here), the event saw Attila My Honey and Archers take to the stage before the man of the night would do his thing.

Unfortunately I arrived after Attila My Honey had wrapped though I feel like I missed out, going off what people were saying about the young band after their set. Archers, a band I haven’t seen perform in quite some time, didn’t take long in setting up their stage and I spent the interim trying to remember how I found the last set of theirs I’d managed to catch. They’ve always struck me as one of the more inventive bands working within the Adelaide indie genre in past years; unafraid of switching creative direction and perhaps aiming away from the trends that originally put them on the radar of many around town, Archers always seemed to approach their craft with confidence in creative exploration.

On stage for this particular set, they look and sound more mature than I remember. Some tech issues with percussion and general sound reared up midway through but it didn’t matter, Archers seemed pretty on form to me. The other people in the venue were hooked in too. Hugh‘s vocals are a particular highlight of the live show – the lead vocalist really letting loose at various points of the set. It’s a shame that these guys went off the radar recently, there was quite a bit of momentum surrounding them and I feel like they could be a whole lot bigger now. Still, a great show to reconnect with.

When Jesse took to the stage, more people have filled into the venue and have been suitably loosened up thanks to the accommodating bar staff and the tunes being mixed over the PA by Bad//Dreems‘ lads Alex Cameron and Miles Wilson.

Davidson’s musical output has evolved from some dreamy indie sounds, into music that demonstrates a thriving potential from an artist who has a clear knack for songwriting. He treats the stage in a way that takes any egotism or sense of entitlement as a headliner out of the equation. His performance confidence has matured from toeing that line between cocky/obnoxious into a sense of confidence that comes from learned experience and it is also reflected in the quality of his performance. While he is backed by a talented band of players, Jesse Davidson shows that he shines just as strong as a lead or focal performer. The material on show during the show this night translates as well to the live setting as I thought it would; the melodies and well-crafted pop music are rich in depth and Davidson’s vocals hold their own as the music builds up and takes off throughout the set.

Lizard Boy is a collection of material that deserves the listener’s attention although it’s not until you’re able to see Jesse perform live that you might be able to truly appreciate the young musician’s talent. We’re looking at an artist in an exciting point of his career, and this hometown launch just proved the enthusiasm of those around him already. A great night to be a part of and I’m very keen to see how 2016 treats him.


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