Tonight at the Newtown Social Club we are in for a treat. From Sydney acid-folk singer/songwriter Luke O’Farrell, aka Through The Forest Door, hazy dreamers Flowertruck who are local Newtown/Inner-west Sydney siders, and of course, Perth born, Pond front man and touring member of Tame Impala, the alluring baby blonde, Nicholas Allbrook.
We were one of the few who arrived early to watch Through The Forest Door, and we are glad we did. Luke O’Farrell, who is also one of the lead singers and guitarists of the Australian psychedelic rock band, The Laurels delivered an amazing one man set. It was interesting to see him perform without any company; it was a very raw and real experience. The guitar riffs O’Farrell strung together were incredible, sending shivers down your spine, accompanied by his amazingly smooth voice, each song had so much depth to it. A stand out was ‘On The Rise’ which when performed with an electric guitar as opposed to acoustic guitar, caused hairs standing on the back of our necks. A very modest performance given by the ever so talented Luke O’Farrell, he definitely set the night in the right direction and a reminder of why we support the support artists.
Newtown’s home brewed pot of goodness, Flowertruck are singer Charles Rushford, synth player Sarah Sykes, or better known as ‘Syko’ drummer Will Blackburn and guitarist Hamish Dobinson. This local inner-west band are full of charisma that shows not only through their songs but also through the way they perform live. Charles Rushford is a unique performer, full of energy and power with a strong deep tone that sounded a little like Bernard Butler from New Order.
He got the crowd off their back-sides and onto their feet as this was music that after all, you are meant to dance to. The standout songs tonight were, ‘ I Want To Be With You’, ‘Tourmaline’ and ‘Sunshower’ from their EP Dirt, released in September last year. With sincere, enthusiastic lyrics each song was very irresistible. Flowertruck are a band that is definitely worth experiencing live and reminded us once again of the importance of creating a live dynamic between the band members.
Part Tame Impala member and Ponds front man is a winning formula for Nicholas Allbrook, showing no boundaries to his talent and creativity as a live performer. When Allbrook performs it’s more than just watching a gig, you’re watching a real performer, a true expressive artist who knows how to capture a crowd and knows how to connect with them, so much so that he even walked into the crowd on three separate occasions to play his songs out. A big stand out from the night was the song ‘Tramadol With Fear’ that was performed with a saxophonist Allbrook had met the previous night. The mixture of grungy guitar riffs, jazz and electro beats mixed in with Allbrook’s voice all complemented each other perfectly. ‘The Mans Not Me’ grabbed great response from the crowd, although this version was a lot more stripped back, played with an electric guitar that added more depth to the song and had the crowd singing along to it. New song ‘Advance’ that had elements of the Australian National Anthem in it was also a crowd pleaser too.
The gig in its entirety, was just outstanding. It was incredible to see so much support for all the artists tonight, as well as watching real emerging Australia artists. What Through The Forest Door and Flowertruck produce next will be eagerly awaited by us and as for Nicholas Allbrook, his new single ‘Advance’ is no doubt a taster of what we can expect that will be nothing less than incredibly unique.