Friday night we checked out Goodnight Owl at the Wesley Anne in Northcote. Was a great little gig. Well…actually…it was pretty loud, intense, and chair dance inducing. More on that later though.
About a month or so ago I got sent an EP by Goodnight Owl. I posted one of their tracks, Maps & Compasses and a few people commented on how they liked it and how it kind of blew them away. It blew me away too. The whole EP did actually. Eddie (singer and guitar) has this knack of writing really nice pop songs. And then there’s those beats. The EP highlights the great skills of Joe Walker, electro whiz. The beats are simple, and they’re sophisticated (the time change in the groove on Maps & Compasses always gets me). Adding to this mix is Bella Walker (and presumably the sister of Joe) with some nice keys.
So that’s just the EP. Live, it’s almost like another thing altogether. It’s loud, it’s pumping. Although the crowd were fairly restrained, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them wanted to get up and move and dance and stuff. They fill the band out a bit live with the occasional use of a drummer for a few tracks.
Eddie’s also a pretty funny dude. Although, in some instances, it appears that the funnies comes across as unintentional, it adds to the gig a hell of a lot. There is nothing worse than a good artist/band who has no presence or can’t talk to the audience.
But yeah, onto the songs. If you read this blog a bit you may have noticed that I posted a track by a Sydney band called Seekae called Void. It’s that kind of glitchy popish haunting kinda music. It has that pushy synth sound and all that. Goodnight Owl do a cover of it which you can check out on their MySpace…and they opened the show with it. It was, to put it simply, fucking brilliant. It still had that big hip hop beat that Seekae seem to be massive fans of, but it was all kinda liveish and about 100 times more intense. Eddie has a floor tom out the front which he would belt, adding to this really loud and aggressive sound that they had. It was so good that it actually wore me out. I felt buggered after that first one.
The guys introduced a few non EP tracks throughout the night too and these were great. Sounded just live Goodnight Owl. Especially the final track they played which seemed to indicate more a band sound and less of the electro stuff.
There were some tracks from the EP though. Maps & Compasses was amazing. Sounded much bigger and harder than it does on record, especially the chorus. That was something I was a little hesitant about before the gig actually. The EP incorporates this folk-pop and glitchy electro so well on record, I was a little unsure about how they would pull it off live. But they do. They make it big and it works.
Other highlights that came from the EP were Stale Bread and Verandah. For those that know Stale Bread, it’s definitely not one of the more uptempo tracks on the EP. And live, they stayed true to this…but only for the first half of the track. Halfway through saw the inclusion of drums and some electroness to help create a massive big triumphant finish. Verandah is also another fave of mine. It is such a nice song, the lyrics make me think of home and everything that’s constant when everything else is going a little crazy. (wow…just got a little bit wanky and d&m there for a minute…haha…it is a really sweet song though. You know…makes you think and stuff). Anyway, live, Verandah sounded so sweet and just pushed along and made you feel happy.
One thing I remember thinking throughout the gig was “where the hell is the album??” A full length would be bloody impressive and if you see the guys live or you’ve heard the EP, I’m sure you’d agree.
Although their slot was a little short (there was an 11pm noise curfew in place – residential area and all that crap), they put on a great set. It was brilliant actually. The supports were also pretty nice (Ashley Bee did some great guitar pop and Nick Huggins and a dude going by the name of Seagull provided a heap of electro glitch experimental pop kinda stuff).
Probably my favourite of the night (apart from the Seekae remix) was Verandah. Here it is…just below 🙂
Goodnight Owl – Verandah