Melbourne’s Sleepy Dreamers were the focus of everyone’s attention at this Wednesday’s edition of Shady Lane, not to mention the excitement of The Wandering Lambs official support of the weekly event. Tonight was the launch their single Hunk (which unfortunately wasn’t actually available as a hard copy on the night due to distribution issues), the four guys, Ed, Shannon, Callan and Matt, looked to be having just as much fun as their crowd. Like a homecoming to their love The Evelyn, their live show did a great job of reflecting really how proud and excited the guys were to be there.
As the first of three bands this evening, starting it all out was folk/acoustic band Young Vincent. The three piece showed off some pretty impressive vocal harmonies and likeable indie/folk melodies. The singer had an almost perfect match of vocal tone to Angus Stone – closing your eyes you probably wouldn’t have been able to pick the difference. Playing two acoustic (yet amplified) instruments, bass and guitar, in front of full rock drums was at times too overpowering for their overall sound, however the guys still managed to present an enjoyable set of folk pop gems.
Next up were a the little less folk orientated locals Seven Year Itch. Replacing the soothing folk pop was a much more indie-of-today sound. Complete with percussionist, twangy guitars, afrobeat rhythms, funk bass and pop melodies, it was almost a walk in the park to guess these guys’ influences. Despite this, they were indeed proficient at their craft and a tight set of dance-able pop tunes made for a fun set. It is interesting to think about the current atmosphere of indie bands, their influences and the previous generations’ influences. In this case, a bunch of musicians in their early twenties would have spend a lot of time listening and looking up to bands like Vampire Weekend (in particular their self titled debut of 2008), and hence delved into that bands’ influences too. When that album was released there were a lot of comparisons with Paul Simon’s Graceland, and as a result Seven Year Itch have also taken this onboard as a major influence.
It seems like a few people in the bandroom have been waiting for this all night. Headliners Sleepy Dreamers come onto the stage and you can see the excitement in their eyes. A big night for these guys, for the launch of their new single Hunk, and they’ve brought the crowd with them to enjoy the ride. Self described folk-pop, Sleepy Dreamers brought a more of a mix of pop-rock and indie flavoured tunes to the enthusiastic crowd. Swapping vocal duties between Shannon and Ed, who both present a different but layered guitar sound, in turn the whole band produce some pretty sweet four part harmonies to glide over their smooth guitar pop sound. It is not difficult to hear the difference in vocal tone between Shannon and Ed – Shannon with a smooth, comforting tone where Ed is definitely more on the pop-punk with a distinct Aussie drawl sound. Despite this, the crowd dances and sways to each and every one of Sleepy Dreamers songs, with their second last song being their launch single Hunk. With a more deeply powerful and driving sound, the single unfortunately reminds me far too much of The Drones classic Shark Fin Blues. Despite this, the guys have done a great job with their new songs and have pulled their friends, and some new fans also, in for a quality evening of local talent.