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FRONT ROW | THE BELLIGERENTS @ HOWLER

Bringing their debut album Science Fiction to a non-fiction reality, The Belligerents showed off the goods at a sold out Melbourne show at Howler. The night was full of thrilling material, questionable yet amazing dance moves, and general all-round goodness.

Bus Vipers may be a new name on the scene, off the back of his recent Federal Highway EP, but was ready to win over more than a few hearts. The quirky form of indie was fun even without familiarity, and had the right amount of energy to get the room moving. A cover of The Talking Heads earned a few frustrated rants in the male bathrooms, but even if the unique take wasn’t for every one, it highlighted the talent and understanding of musical form held by Bus Vipers in the capacity to make the song his own. His dreamy material picked up a new energy in the live arena, and it was the last two songs that really knocked the set out of the water. It was refreshing to have a new band on stage, and to have one that could so easily impress was the perfect way to kick the Friday night off.

The Belligerents, with their quirky form of indie psych, rapidly got the dancefloor moving with their set. The combination of projections and a strobe drenched stage created an ethereal feeling to go alongside the energetic material. The set was largely as expected with the entire album being played out, as well as select EP material. The result, was a fleshed out set that captured the biggest and softest moments of their work and the creation of a journey in the show. It was hard to find a problem with the performance with each element played out perfectly. Highlights of the show were largely attributed to Lewis Stephenson’s presence. It’s not to say that the other band members didn’t excel at the roles, but any artist who whips out both quirky dance moves and multiple recorder solos is nearly always going to win the show. Caroline proved to be one of the more popular tracks in the set but even over the top of an audience member’s chattering Turn the Band Down proved to be a highpoint of the night. It was a show that demonstrated the value of fun in live music. It was still played out perfectly, but more importantly, you could tell the band members were enjoying themselves up there, and that was infectious.

 

Photography By Nick Robertson

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Ayden Measham-Pywell

Tallest kid at every gig // Questionable dancer at best // twitter/instagram: ayds_on_toast