Oscar + Martin + Absolute Boys – The Northcote Social Club (22.07.11)

The hipsters were out in force at The Northcote on Friday, braving the cold in their op-shop finest, eagerly awaiting the appearance of Oscar Slorach-Thorn and Martin King. Warming the stage were local trio Absolute Boys who stole the show with an engaging, intense performance.

Their music is a blend of post-rock experimental ambience that calls to mind the work of My Disco and Rat Vs Possum. They played a tight set with sounds ranging from expansive tribal rhythms to catchy minimalist pop. It was clear from watching their performance that this is a band who are destined for bigger and better things as they play with passion and had a fun, energetic vibe that is worthy of more than a supporting slot.

Oscar + Martin‘s set was lacklustre in comparison, with the band seeming to be off their game. Their glitchy, poptastic sounds stumbled while the band members didn’t appear to take much of an interest in honing their sound, really making it work it for the live setting. Instead they chose to rest comfortably on their laurels and play with little passion or excitement for the music.

This didn’t seem to bother most of the sold out crowd who happily bopped along to tracks such as “Recognise” and “For You”, but having seen Oscar + Martin on previous occasions and knowing what they are capable of in a live setting, their performance on Friday was an undeniably underwhelming experience.

It was another case of the bridesmaid upstaging the bride, with Absolute Boys definitely being the highlight of an otherwise average evening.