Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide SA
October 8th, 2022
Supports: Closure In Moscow & SEIMS
With two other major acts also performing in Adelaide on this exact night which included Magic Dirt and The Smith Street Band – both sell out shows; the competition for attendees for this overdue event was troublesome to say the least. In an interesting twist of fate however, this narrowed audience actually bolstered the atmosphere of the venue to a cosy and homelike feel, in turn, this allowed every band to completely unmask themselves and become comfortable with their new family, the crowd. Ultimately it is shows like these that are truly enthralling.
Sydney’s prog-math-rock trio (for this night) SEIMS opened the showcase extremely early in the evening to a few dozen eager fans and although the number of onlookers was rather small-scale, it didn’t diminish the performance nor the overall vitality of the interaction. The positivity emitted from bassist and vocalist Simon Bartholomew is incredibly infectious, it radiates from the entire outfit and warms the soul similar to a glass of red wine on a cold night. ‘Biting Tongues’ channelled some post-hardcore elements along the lines of Seattle’s These Arms Are Snakes terrifically which was then followed by an oddly outstanding version of Blur’s ‘Song 2’. Admitting that they had never actually played in Adelaide before but managed to play in Japan six times prior was quite a fascinating side note; furthermore, the fact SEIMS had literally just flown back from the UK after performing at ArcTanGent Festival to join the tour after Perth’s Tangle Thoughts Of Leaving were sadly unable to make the shows, this left many now converted fans beyond impressed. Closing with the sensational single ‘The Mountain’s Scream’, a track that would turn the heads of Texas’ This Will Destroy You boosted the already warm and fuzzy feeling within the venue. South Australia will eagerly await your return SEIMS and hopefully the next visit is as a headliner.
Melbourne’s Closure In Moscow funky five-piece brought their progressive post-everything sound with quintessential quirkiness to a new level that Adelaide had missed for quite some time. Landing somewhere between Saosin, The Mars Volta, A Lot Like Birds and Happiness era Dance Gavin Dance – it is a complex arrangement and it is captivating. ‘Deluge’ accentuated all of this but ‘Neoprene Byzantine’ is where it somehow exited this dimension. Christopher de Cinque has always been an eccentric front-man, on this night though he became amazingly alien in a way transmitting a combination of Jim Morrison, Anthony Green and Napoleon Dynamite in his rendition. ‘The Church Of Technochrist’ had the quintet in full flight and they were flawless with Christopher experimenting with some Jamiroquai techniques. A new song ‘Primal Sinister’ was premiered for the growing Adelaide crowd that exhibited a rather natural progression for CIM with an injection of Quentin Tarantino film soundtracks shining through. A throwback to the First Temple record was practically necessary and the quintet delivered ‘A Night At The Spleen’ faultlessly; drummer Salvatore Aidone was more machine than man with his power hitting and the dynamic display of the band recalled the super-group The Sounds Of Animals Fighting. ‘Afterbirth’ became very experimental with Christopher going overboard with vocal effects, the auto-tune was peculiar at best. Then another new song was delivered ‘AT Field’ that is arguably the most exploratory the five-piece have become, elements of trip hop and hip hop weave in and out of the progressive alternative rock formula; it is perplexing but amazingly adventurous. To close the bewitching ‘Pink Lemonade’ where Christopher de Cinque broadcasted some miraculous Justin Timberlake characteristics. Closure In Moscow have in fact finished the recording of their long-awaited third full-length and the world will be anticipating this release with ‘Jewels For Eyes’.
The fourth LP released by Sydney’s luminary post-rock quartet sleepmakeswaves was released in 2020, until these past few months, the four-piece have not been able to celebrate this triumph. At Lion Arts Factory in an intimate setting with a sizeable Adelaide audience, these New South Welshmen were going to deliver a set so theatrically powerful that it would borderline cause pain and it was truly memorable to witness. Reviewing instrumental or post-rock music is a task in itself, for this writer however, the genre stimulates multiple senses to the effect that describing an imaginative visual counterpart is an accurate portrayal of what occurred to a degree at the event.
Visually SMW spared no expense on this performance, a fluorescent lighting display including their “star” symbol often lit up the stage and entire venue, it was breath-taking. In a sense, it felt as if they were transporting their audience to another galaxy and the soundtrack they supplied did metaphorically that.
‘The Endings That We Write’ was the countdown to take off into a new galaxy – a thunderous explosion with velocity exceeding the speed of sound and light in a chaotic rigid ride. Then the calm of space, the loss of gravity, the dazzling stars and the view of infinite possibility. The journey continues with collisions into debris, which increases as the new world approaches and the orbit must be broken, it’s a jolty expedition but we have arrived as one both band and crowd. ‘Traced In Constellations’ became the landing to this other world and the eventual entrance into its environment which has the extreme yet beautiful jungle, mountains, wildlife, oceans, rivers and ecosystem of Pandora from the film Avatar. ‘Menthol’, ‘Something Like Avalanches’ and ‘Tundra’ were in effect the telling of the exploration of the waterways to the ocean. Beginning with tranquil, crystallised and luminous calm water that guided us on a scenic presentation of the native flora and fauna that glistened and enchanted the observers. The tranquility then becomes tumultuous with upcoming rapids, boulders and waterfalls. A plummet to the depths of these waters is guided by ‘Midnight Sun’ which although a dangerous territory, it possesses a serenity of immersion.
‘Zelda’ which features guitarist Otto Wicks-Green angelically serenading his audiences acts like the return to land and a welcoming song from the indigenous people, lyrically this becomes suitable: “If I could, I’d change the world for you” – this is what Sleepmakeswaves does to their crowd, remarkably. ‘Batavia’ is the soundtrack for the expedition into the jungle where amongst the alluring wildlife, there is also predators and this encounter occurs and escape is the only option. This carries through to ‘Great Northern’ and ‘The Stars Are Stigmata’ where safety is found in the shape of the transport ship home. ‘Pyramids’ became the exit soundtrack, an easy take off and final look at the astonishing and miraculous other world that Lion Arts Factory had been transported to, a rough passage out of the atmosphere with debris making impact, comet showers and limited air and gravity, however the guiding light is the assurance of returning home.
The return to the Earth’s atmosphere is resounding and the four-piece played to that perfectly and then as one, we realised we were home, living and loving the music that Australia’s premiere post-rock act Sleepmakeswaves willingly and unbelievably deliver every time.
Photo Gallery by Dave Rubinich Insta: @dave.rubinich
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Closure in Moscow
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