Live Review: Big Scary + Dreller – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth (14.10.16)

Their first headline tour to reach the West Coast since 2013, Big Scary returned to Perth to play at The Rosemount Hotel on Friday night for the release of their latest album Animal. Bringing along Dreller featuring former Papa Vs Pretty frontman Thomas Rawle, it was a night of seriously loose heartfelt vibes with plenty of emphasis on the synths, and percussion to rival the best. The second of two sold out shows, the room was crowded from the get go, and the show that followed left no doubt in any punters mind as to why.

Dreller warmed the room up with the uniquely winding vocals of Rawle as he twisted through gritty guitar hooks and smooth synth builds while his drummer kept up a pace reminiscent of the raw punch of his previous projects.  While the name may be just adorable (Dracula + Cinderella, because that’s a movie I want to see), there was a real sense of maturity and polish, a balance to the chaotic climax of each track. Everything from the delivery to the uplifting melancholy of Dreller’s sound made for an excellent prelude to the main act.

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The mood was instantaneous as Big Scary and band entered the room; glowing red lights burning from around the stage highlighting their silhouettes as Jo Syme approached the drums and Tom Iansek, suited up, placed behind the keys.  From gigs to festivals, Big Scary have always supplied utter magic with their sets and tonight was no exception. The whole atmosphere was electric with anticipation and the build of each track on the setlist played to that, each tune introduced with a suitable pause that just fed the crowd more as they waited for that first familiar note, that musical permission to dance and coo along.

Opening with “Oxygen” and “Organism” from their latest LP Animal, the front rows were caught up in that inexplicable need to dance, between the pace envying speed of Jo on the drums and Tom’s hypnotic manipulation on keys the duo became the puppeteers of the night. The addition of saxophonist left everyone intoxicated. The crowd were at their mercy as they fell into “Luck Now”, “Belgian Blues” and “Double Darkness”, the room echoing back with cries of “Ooh Ooh!”.

“Bad Friends” made for a small interlude as the crowd practically fell still, a couple of vocal punters causing a small disturbance were quickly shut down by those around them, merely bonding the front rows closer as we all swayed arm in arm. With Tom changing places seamlessly between guitarist, vocalist and keys, the hypnotic rhythm of each track, the sudden appearance and disappearance of the backing band members and the astoundingly eerie light show filled the set with a sense of surrealism. Even as we hit the tail end of the set list with “The Opposite Of Us”, “Flutism” and “Up and Up and Up”, the crescendo that rained down on the room amid strobing red and blue lights was like something out of Stranger Things.

Paying homage to the long term fans, the band returned with “Falling Away” at encore, the combined vocals of Tom and Jo with those clear cut piano notes and constantly rising chorus line had the room singing along. Finishing with “Twin Rivers” it became almost a cruel reminder that the night was closing.

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“1, 2, 3 times, we fell in love,” the opening line of “The Endless Story” that still hangs in my head, and that pretty well sums up the relationship between the crowd and the band on Friday night. I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t been impressed to their core by Big Scary’s live shows, the absolute simplicity of their delivery, the too-close-to-home honesty of their lyrics, and those damn funky tunes that have you dancing across the whole setlist.

It really goes without saying that you should have caught this band by now, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?