Tl;dr? Town are tight as hell, brilliant musicians, fun to watch, engaging and passionate. Together they create a unique sound that I can only describe as dark cabaret that you can imagine being performed on a fictional pirate ship off the coast of New Orleans in a Tarantino film that doesn’t exist. (That makes sense, right?)
Town are about to go on tour. Roo’s Live Experience with guest reviewer Dean Hamilton caught their pre-tour show at Rics Bar.
Town have recently released their EP ‘Toil’ and will be launching it with East Coast shows in August/September. On this occasion they have driven down all the way from Sunshine Coast to play their unique music that fits both a large stage and intimate room. Supporting Town is local 5 piece pop rock act Candybomber who will be joining them again for the Brisbane leg of their tour.
Dean Hamilton reports:
“Supporting Sunshine Coast group Town on their recent visit to Brisbane, 5-piece group Candybomber are a pop-rock tour de force with a big and boppy sound that transformed the humble venue into their own personal stadium show. A reasonable and excitable crowd gathered before the end of the first song to show their appreciation for the spectacle.
Front-man Matt has elements of Bono and Elvis Costello in presence and performance and is backed by a very well-rehearsed band with clear influences of the same.
Unashamedly describing themselves as nostalgic indie-pop with influences from 90's Britpop and American Indie rock, Candybomber mixes these into their cauldron and can turn up the heat to boil over or just sit and simmer with tasty guitars soaked in ethereal effects to add to the 90's vibe. Highlights of the set were tracks 'Not Completely Sure" and "Now" that were uplifting punky pop tunes with a mature musicality. Taking a darker tone towards the end of the set was "Citizen", a politically charged track but it remained driving and danceable.
Candybomber are a a genuinely fun band to behold and each song contains at least one golden nugget of a hook that you'll be humming long after the show.”
Town takes the stage to cap off a great night of music at Rics Bar where the backyard is packed out and the main room is cosy with friendly live music enthusiasts.
The Town sound is characterised by passionate pop vocals with a raspy edge and eastern European influenced melodies over ridiculously good piano with great feel and licks by Ant; Skilful and tasteful drumming with a jazzy, cabaret flavour from Richard; and huge, dark and groovy double bass from Mark. Their sound appears to have elements similar to The Dresden Dolls and Supertramp at times, but is uniquely their own.
The show consists of original tracks from their EP Toil, a new song live debut and a Beirut cover. The delivery is complete with ‘ba-dum-tish’ audience interactions between songs.
Starting out with a jaunty sea-shanty style tune, Town instantly have people dancing. “That’s it! WALTZ! WALTZ BITCHES!” Town are able to play their incredible music and interact in a really enjoyable way with the crowd while creating another-worldly musical atmosphere that transcends the setting.
“Django you drag your coffin around”… A track with tight full band stops and accents that changes feels seamlessly with amazing snare work, and sounds like some sort of cabaret, ‘shuffly’, pirate blues.
“I am just another working class whore”… Work Slut features huge bass, great tom work and jaunty piano.
Toil – the title track from their EP has people moving about to the danceable, swaying, dark cabaret sound featuring incredible vocals with Eastern European influenced melodies.
Antonio – yet another deliciously debaucherous sounding track that has the crowd dancing along.
“This is our second best song. It’s called Down”… This track has groove for days, rich and characterful vocals with amazing control. It’s at this stage that I realise that Town are actually from another planet. I'm not sure which one, but I sure want to visit there.
“A song about depression”… This Darkness, This Town is heartfelt and passionately delivered.
Ending the night is a new track, never before performed live – Town Drunk begins with just piano and vocals and a magnificent build and tight change of feel. This track has people dancing along.
The entire show is emotive, passionate, tight, interesting, musically brilliant and delivered with charisma and humour.
Town will be taking their show on the road in August/September to launch their EP Toil. They will be bringing Candybomber along for another show at The Milk Factory on the 11th of August. Get out and see them!
(Town reviewed by Roo and Candybomber reviewed by guest writer Dean Hamilton. Dean Hamilton is a musician, music writer, music enthusiast and musical jack of all trades. Thank you for contributing, Dean!)