My friend always gives me shit for not committing to nights out, but I was determined to prove him wrong when I invited him to see Nocturnal Tapes headline at the Shark Bar last Saturday 18 December.
GD FRNDS have been around for a while but this is my first time at one of their present gigs and the line-up is stellar (and long). I’m excited as I haven’t seen any of the artists live and from what I’ve heard the music is going to be top class.
First up is electro/dance act Diskodisco whose influences hark back to 80’s synth; darkwave mixed with electronic drums and heavy bass. I reckon if Bladerunner was playing in the background the experience would have been equally visually dynamic. I love the dedication Diskodisco has to this genre and it’s clear his production skills are allowing his creativity to expand up another level. Fave tracks were ‘The Darkest Magic’ and ‘Is This My Fate’ which reminded me of Massive Attack. If you have a true appreciation for synthwave then you should see Diskodisco.
Newly formulated Machine Club are up next with producer/vocalist Brett Sellwood as frontman and beatographist Grant Butler on drums. Like Diskodisco, Machine Club pay homage to 80’s synth with live vocals and drums channelling artists like Depeche Mode and Gold Coast’s own Tesla Coils. Machine Club have just started out and word is they are dropping an EP in 2018, so keep your eyes out for that.
Third artist off the rank is Gold Coast duo Hot Coffee who I think have the goods to go big time. Consisting of Wade De Souza on production and Matt Hansford on vocals and keys, Hot Coffee describe themselves as indie RnB and electronic Hip Hop. Hansford’s vocals and rap skills set against De Souza’s beats are super impressive to hear. Hot Coffee’s sound is current, fresh and on stage they are energetic and compelling to watch. Tracks like ‘ID’ and the menacing ‘The Watcher’ sucked me in. I would highly recommend seeing these guys live and hope they get to that next level with the right support.
Slowcoaching is the musical stylings of Dean Valentino; a mix of soaring vocals and dream pop serenity which is right up my alley. Touring with a full band, Slowcoaching start the set on a happy high with songs like ‘Fernwah’, ‘Night Fiction’ and ‘Pillars of Salt’. My fave though was the last track from 2017 EP ‘All the Same’, ‘I don’t want to change your mind’. Slowcoaching were a nice addition to an electro heavy line up which broke up the sound for the night and prepared the crowd for headliners Nocturnal Tapes.
I almost didn’t make it through the night but I am so glad I hung in for Yamba indie/electro two piece Nocturnal Tapes, who are touring off the back of this years, EP release Visions IV which is receiving rave reviews. Since then they have played venues from Melbourne to Brisbane touring with the likes of Luke Million and Lanks. The set opens with a couple of old and new songs before breaking into a cover of Donna Summers disco classic ‘I Feel Love’. From then on, it’s into standout tracks from Visions IV, beginning with slow building, heart warmer ‘Close My Eyes’ which is about hometown Yamba, before moving into crowd favourite, ‘All I Need’ which is pretty much why I waited all night to see Nocturnal Tapes – and my god – it did not disappoint. Everyone in the crowd was literally high fiving each other because it was that good. ‘Wake Up’ followed, another standout track from Visions IV. “Time is a way to die, I’m wasting it every night”, sings Harry Suttor but tonight is not one of those nights before breaking into an epic solo.
Nocturnal Tapes are being compared to bands like LCD Soundsystem and the Presets, but have a blend of psych in their sound as well. Their mix of ethereal synths, spaced out pop sensibilities, Suttors melodic vocals and shredding guitar translate beautifully live. I left the sticky floors of the Shark Bar with my new music obsession and hope to see them live again in another small venue before they go huge. Thanks GD FRNDS for a top night. Keep rolling those synth waves into the Gold Coast.
IMAGES (c) Jake Wilton