REVIEW: The Upskirts and The Vernons at The Loft, 28 November

Sydney-based The Upskirts may have been the predecessors to the Vernons on this night, but we saw them in perfect execution.

Drawing on their attention to detail when tweaking their chords to fit the ambient build up, The Upskirts delivered hallucinatory melodies in We Could Be A Team, indulging in shoegaze fuzz and finishing with an all out group breakdown.

Taking advantage of the boutique venue, the boys filled every gap with haze, playing off the feedback, garage rock style. Guitarist Harry Tuckwells heavy opening riff in Vesuvius reminded me of early 90’s Nirvana, with the vocalist Nick Stillman complimenting perfectly by nailing the solid, grungy vocals minus the careless singing that often comes with it.

The band’s emphasis on pivotal lyrics with the drummer Tom Kell chiming in for a back and forth harmony broke up the musical abyss that psych-rock can transpire into. Bassist Mitch Noakes was as calm as a Hindu cow, effortlessly giving depth to the set with subtle yet pounding undertones

As if telepathically connected, they were in tune with each other every moment of their set, harnessing the belligerence that is garage rock and fine-tuning it to make it their own.

The lads showed their talent for producing intoxicating and magnetic music with their token track Mind’s a Burden, leaving time for precious hypnotic instrumentals that climaxed with an epic drum solo, taking them back into a solid rush of ambience, compelling drums and an energy that sounded like happiness.

Entering the studio at the end of their latest tour, these lads are promising to bring even more goods in a third EP early 2014. Do your earholes a favour and check them out.

When the lead breaks 3 strings in the first song, you know its getting real.

Reminiscent of a 1970’s blues-rock gig, James sat in the corner as his soulful guitar licks broke through the calm setting, ­­­Elliot steadily tapped his drumstick and bassist Hugh strummed away whilst sitting on the speaker, playing long involved improvisations. Jonny gave the usual exceptionally mastered bluesy vocals that were, and I quote a patron, “enough to make you climax.”

The uber catchy Standing In Life enlivened their set, prompting an escalation of onstage antics, front row crowd interactions and induced a back and forth sing-along. A few cheeky slip-ups added to the mischievous mirth, the lads laughing it off and ripping into the set with renewed vigour.

The boys ended on a deliciously lewd high, provoking a crowd dance off and even a few cheeky kick-jumps on the breakdown.

Us Gold Coasters are so blessed to call these boys our own. Their debut EP, aptly named Volume 1 is now out with single White Wine whipping around the airwaves.

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