Live Review: Woods + Wild Oats + Summer Flake + Big Richard Insect – Format (24.01.13)

Adelaide got some loving from the Sugar Mountain Festival sideshows with New Yorkers Woods putting on a grand performance at the hipster art space; Format.

I descended the stairs into the pungent, sweltering basement midway through the Wild Oats set and was immediately put at ease by their beguiling tunes. The three-piece know their way around a pop narrative and their sweet, dreamy sounds went down well live. The band have an air of innocence about them and an understated presence which added to the laid back nature of their songs. Their twee harmonies really hit the spot and they are definitely a band I want to see again.

Stephanie Crase’s, aka Summer Flake’s, performance was far less appealing to me. With her partner in crime from Batrider Sarah Mary Chadwick along for the ride, they played a short set of stripped back songs on their electric guitars that were full of grungy goodness; however I found their stage persona to be lacking and they were uninteresting to watch as they played seated, staring at the floor which detracted from the music. I much prefer Crase’s recorded work to the live incarnation on this occasion.

Moving right along to Big Richard Insect, who are the kind of band that I’d need to be intoxicated in order to fully appreciate their wares. They were fun and full of enthusiasm with their singer donning a Pippi Longstocking style wig prior to starting their set, which consisted of fast, furious country thrash rock that the bulk of the audience appeared to enjoy.

At long last Woods took the stage and they did not disappoint with a glorious forty minutes or so of their folk pop goodness. Woods are a band that sound even better live than they do on record with their intense presence adding to the majesty of their songs. The boys gave the performance their all with their pulsating energy flooding the basement with a feel good vibe as they delved through their extensive back catalogue and showcased tunes from their most recent record Bend Beyond.

Woods are a great live band who play with passion and soul and their show at Format was indeed a memorable one for all of the right reasons.