Legendary Sydney live music venue The Lansdowne Hotel has come back from the dead after being closed for nearly two years. The rough around the edges pub played host to the Red Bull Sound Select July instalment on Friday night curated by St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. These events give music lovers new music monthly along with supporting those up and coming artists who are involved.
Up first, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ahern – also known as Bus Vipers – showcased in his set his new material from his debut album Federal Highway. A cacophony of almost astronomical sounds contrasted with the artist’s cathartic lyrics to create a psychedelic product. Drums, bass, guitar, spacey synth plus his unique voice got everyone moving. His recently released single “CSIRO Weeds” showed how well he does garage pop with the rock hit heavy on the drum beat and funky vibes.
Personally, my favourite and pick of night were Slum Sociable, with lead singer Miller Upchurch questioning the crowd, “Baby why are you so far away? This is our party tonight!” prompting everyone to push forward and proving the place was well and truly alive and kicking. The Melbourne electronic rascals were made up by Edward Quinn who plays guitar and keys along with Ryan Beasley on drums and bassist Dylan Savage. The boys are young, talented and like to have fun even joking that they are usually not this unprofessional after they had some technical difficulties with sound but blamed it on Dylan being drunk again. Even if he was drunk, his skills stood out and once they got it together their sound was tight incorporating nice drum grooves, a bass riff and synth keyboard to give it that retro jazz style feel with a hint of hip hop through the percussion. Upchurch’s strong vocals vibe well with the smooth and layered sounds full of soul. They played through tracks from their EP TQ and the last single they performed, “All Night”, had most of the audience, including myself, wishing we could listen to them all night long.
Last up on the line-up was South African born Jonti Danilewitz, better known as just Jonti, an electronic and alternative hip hop record producer. He added in layer upon layer of intricate sounds with drums coming in to build up to an eruption of sound with his falsetto vocals to top it all off. He changed the pace telling everyone that it was all about playing shows and bringing new music to the people. The songs from his upcoming album Tokorats (being released soon) definitely did that. Hearing how he mixes great electronics, cuts of samples of sounds, along with hip hop beats, sax, guitar chords on a loop you can tell why he is gaining attention in the industry. If I am being honest though, I sometimes felt that the almost auto tuned effect he put over his voice didn’t mesh well with the overall sound; it somewhat took away from how talented he is but it was certainly fresh and unique to him, which is what it is all about.
It wouldn’t be a party without party bags to finish as you walk out and Red Bull brought the goods giving lollies along with the biggest treat of the night being the sweet tunes that each artist well and truly provided to all.