Deep Sea Arcade, The Cairos, Woe & Flutter

Deep Sea Arcade, The Cairos, Woe & Flutter
Phoenix Public House | 8 June 2012

It is so brilliant to walk into a gig and immediately start grooving to the music of the first support band. Woe & Flutter are young, loud and exude indie-punk rhythm. This four-piece from the Gold Coast has traces of Nirvana in their tunes while also displaying their own unique sound and stage presence. Sharehouse Blues is a hit with its universal experience of bed bugs, stoner housemates and terrible decor. The pun bandname is cute: a play on the term ‘wow and flutter’, meaning imperfections in sound quality such as pitch changes or warbling sounds. If this is a joke about their talents, there is no evidence of it tonight. Woe & Flutter are so much fun, especially their closing song that pounds with lo-fi punk intensity.

The Cairos have honed their musical chops with major support slots and it shows. Seasons Of Snow is full of sonic energy and soaring vocals. There are funky grooves and tasty guitar work on offer. A highlight is Shame, with its angst-ridden melody. Their Bette Davis Eyes cover leaves the Gwyneth Paltrow version in the shade, and We All Buy Stars is an ’80s throwback with echoes of Midnight Oil. The set has it all: fantastic pop hooks, memorable melodies and lovely three-part harmonies.

Deep Sea Arcade morph onto the stage with quiet confidence. Seen No Right opens with a peppy, ’60s handclap rhythm and catchy chorus. Granite City starts with a laidback groove segueing into a great danceable rhythm. The Devil Won’t Take You is pure slinky, sexy goodness. The saccharine sweet melody of Steam gets the crowd going, and when the surf guitar-riff of Lonely In Your Arms kicks in, that’s the cue for sing-along bopping and hands waving in the air. Ride sees the pace slow down with its psychedelic wispy energy. In a break between songs, vocalist Nic McKenzie asks if he can take a photo of the crowd and is answered by grinning faces and beer bottles thrust into the air by energetic arms. Popular single Girls gets everybody dancing as the low bass riff gives way to swirling harmonies.

Mention must be made of the amazing sound quality at the Phoenix Public House that contributes to how excellent all three bands sound; it is sad that Melbourne is losing such a fantastic venue as Phoenix closes its doors to bands on Tuesday 12 June. Woe & Flutter are the spark of the evening, The Cairos are the polish and Deep Sea Arcade are the woozy afterglow.

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