Live review | Sheppard @ Celebrate Gold Coast | 28.09.14

If you have been able to get Geronimo out of your head for longer than a 3 day period since it arrived on the scene, then you’re a stronger person than I. Whatever you might feel about family band Sheppard and their  inoffensive brand of cutesie, PG indie pop, these guys definitely understand how to write a hook.

A sunny afternoon mini-festival celebrating all things Gold Coast was the perfect setting for this energetic crew of Brisbane hipsters to dispense their catchy riffs and cheerful choruses to eager crowds of teenagers.

A recent European tour of their hit album Bombs Away has given the band a reassuring performance confidence. They set the tone for their set right away with the zesty Hold My Tongue, following it quickly with Smile, an almost-perfect indie pop track, heavily laden with harmonised “da da da”s that would have made the Partridge Family proud.

The whimsy of the band’s first single Let Me Down Easy thrown in towards the middle of the set got even the jaded oldies in the crowd bopping along. I know, because I was bopping along. Curiously attractive frontman George Sheppard had everyone cheering when he introduced the track with a dedication to all the bullies who had stolen his pocket money at school– “Look at me now!” he cried. Still it managed to be humorous and self-effacing rather than gloating. Is nothing about this group offensive?

Shine My Way, a more lyrical and gospel-inspired tune from The Giver Movie soundtrack was a highlight for me, and allowed George’s lead vocal qualities to shine.

Apart from a few jarring moments and a couple of annoying sound flubs, the entire gig was as seamless as any outdoor gig I’ve attended and played to the crowd perfectly. The band’s sound benefited greatly from the drums and bass being heavier in the mix live than they are in their recorded tracks, and although I won’t be rushing out to purchase Bombs Away, I feel more comfortable celebrating the success of this Brisbane-band-made-good now that I know they can bring it, live. Look at them now, indeed!

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