A Live Experience With Horace Bones, The Shabbab, Diamond & Whales @ The Grace Darling, Melbourne. Saturday June 4th

Daniel2Sometimes there is nothing better than some good ol’ fashioned Rock n Roll to escape the winter chill. As Melbourne descends into the depths of the wet season, we made our way along to see one of this city’s best kept secrets, Horace Bones, as they launch their brand new single, ‘Outside’.

Making our way upstairs to the Grace Darling band room, we were greeted by the sounds of British infused alt-rock from opening act, Whales. The 3-piece played a slick set of bass driven, melodic tunes that had a kind of familiarity that we just couldn’t put our finger on. Great hooks that really hit their stride in their more “grunge” moments.

The utterly hypnotic Diamond, then took the stage in front of a very healthy turnout. Elaborate, chorus-drenched arrangements with an electronic flourish. The tracks pulled and pulsed along without ever letting up before closing song the set highlight being, ‘Get In The Sun’. Deep monotone vocals complemented this track brilliantly while the track kept building and building to the perfect climactic end. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, we weren’t the only ones suitably impressed. A band that we will definitely keep our eye on.

Next up, we’re the captivating and totally unpredictable, The Shabbab. Short, sharp, politically inspired punk songs with an outrageously fun delivery. Introducing themselves as every band on The Grace Darling gig guide, the crowd hung on every single word that lead singer Shuki spoke and every lyric that he fiercely delivered. Mic stands were hurtled towards the crowd, spit was in the air and even the odd “mangina”. I didn’t want to look away for fear of missing something. Incredibly entertaining.

After being suitably warmed up by all 3-support acts, it was time for the main event, Horace Bones. The lights dimmed and the band took their places as a whole range of psychedelic projections enveloped the stage. Front man Oisin Kelly proclaiming, ‘We’re Horace Bones and this is Jack The Knife!’ With shades of surf punk and a more rock roll inspired King Gizzard, it was the perfect introduction.

From here, the band we’re unrelenting. Playing through clear crowd favorites, ‘Hot Crow’ and the doom punk of ’Son Of The City’, before our attention was brought to the passing of Muhammad Ali by the Horace Bones front man. Like a devoted reverend, he commanded the crowd’s attention as he littered the great man’s iconic quotes throughout the slow burning, Nick Cavesque, ‘Gold Tooth’. It’s that intensity that is on show throughout the entire set from not only Oisin, but the entire band.

Horace Bones
Photo by Bianca Morgans

Lead guitarist Caz paced up and down the stage like a man possessed while Daniel Cockburn on bass looked completely at home in front of a room full of, now, very rowdy people. Looking around, bodies were getting sweaty, beer was spilt and people’s clothes were falling by the wayside. That’s the thing about Horace Bones, their attitude on stage was infectious as the crowd begun to mirror the debauchery they saw on stage.

In one of the rare moments when the crowd caught their breath, Oisin implored us to sign the petition to keep community radio (www.keepcommunityradio.org). ‘This is our voice and they are trying to shut us up’, he pleaded before the band play through current single ‘Outside’. Not afraid to say exactly what he felt, he clearly had a penchant for directing a room full of people.

Rounding out their set with another 2 new tunes, those psychedelic projections that had lit up the band all night turned to the word ‘TARANTULA’ as they launched into a ferocious version of their debut single. When the front man wandered into the middle of the crowd to deliver his spoken word bridge, it’s as if the crowd didn’t want to leave anything in the tank for the day after. For the final chorus he was lifted on to the top of everyone’s shoulders as more than a few full beers were poured all over him. Not to be out done, guitarist Caz, then launched himself off stage like a madman for the last chorus. Bodie’s flew but didn’t detract Christian P Fish drums that stayed on point, even while two of his members were amongst the crowd, covered in alcohol, as were the majority of the front row.

As everyone picked themselves up and dusted themselves down, it was clear to see that Horace Bones knew exactly how to handle the live setting. With their debut E.P slated for delivery later in the year, we can only imagine what’s in store for such an, already accomplished, young band.