Live Review: The Lulu Raes + Wild Honey + Wesley Fuller – Northcote Social Club (15.09.16)

Since showcasing at BIGSOUND 2015, The Lulu Raes have had a hectic tour schedule, sharing stages with the likes of Jamie XX, The Jungle Giants and Sticky Fingers. In support of their recently released EP, All Our Parents Are Divorced, they’ve been touring the country, winning hearts and dance floors along the way. When they took on Northcote Social Club, there was something inherently nostalgic across the sets of the evening, with all acts delivering heartfelt pop/rock that spanned musical eras.

I’m not sure whether Wesley Fuller was trying to emulate Art Garfunkel, but the ‘fro and turtleneck certainly cast doubts. The 70s fuelled, bluesy indie rock certainly held musical echoes of Wesley’s doppelganger, whilst emulating likes of The Beach Boys and Wolfmother at times. Backed by a full band, he flawlessly interchanged between guitars and a tambourine, delivering driving rhythms, catchy riffs and singing melodies. There’s clichés in the appearance maybe, but the sound is a refreshing revisit to the past.

The psych-rock, surf-pop vibes of Wild Honey assuaged any questions in my mind as to whether their name was inspired by The Beach Boys’ album of the same title. Sun soaked vocals, synth laden melodies, and a lot more honey than wild; these guys delivered tasty harmonies and good times. The bright, nostalgic tunes featured immaculate guitar riffs, across the distractions of broken guitar straps and synth stands. The Sydney five-piece rounded out the cheerful set with “Eye to Eye”, whose heavy rotation on Triple J over the summer resulted in a sing-a-long, dancehall vibe. Yet more tambourine featured in some blues-styled tracks, and I’m wondering if this undervalued instrument is making a come back. Bring it on.

With a sold out gig, there wasn’t an unhappy face when The Lulu Raes took the stage, charming and entertaining the crowd with failed crowd surfing attempts, sharing drinks, and dragging crowd members up for a boogie. ‘Sha la la la’ falsettos blended with synth, guitar, driving bass and layers of exhilaration, giving indie pop/rock ballads that drove NSC to a veritable breaking point of dance. The Lulu Raes are a sort of latent indie pop, landing somewhere between indie rock kings and discotheque fist-pumpers, the kind of sound that gets you through a heinously sunny Sunday when you feel like hiding from the world. The set caroused across their hit-filled discography; seeing them deliver their beautiful, hook-laden, soulful tunes kept us mesmerised. It’s a sound to make your soul feel good.

The artists across the evening are unequivocally masters of matching the best of indie pop with sounds from eras gone by, giving an invigorating, positive soundscape. Unfortunately for Adelaide, The Lulu Raes had to cancel their show, as their booked venue didn’t honour their contract to pay the bands. Seriously dudes and dudettes, what’s up with that? You’re depriving Adelaide of a glorious, sun-soaked musical experience.

 

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