With a solid three on the bill tonight, a reshuffle of tonight’s line up would still read equally strong and fair, The Lulu Raes are a solid band, destined for some good things in 2017, but same goes for Melbourne’s Wesley Fuller, a hugely talented soul who was featured at NME with ‘music of the day’ for his single ‘Melvista’. Wedged between the two is Wild Honey, the long haired lads from Sydney who safely play music of a common thread. For those of us who lived through some of the great music produced in the 90s, tonight’s line-up felt like a step back in time, a time when the majority of those here tonight, were not even born.
Earlier this year, in March, The Wandering Lamb discovered Wesley Fuller featuring new cut ‘Melvista’ on our Weaning Lambs post, new music that infused 60s inspired grooves that oozed so much cool, it stood on the shoulders of every other track we heard at that time. New Musical Express (NME) in the UK felt the same, listing it as ‘music of the day’, certainly a mix to pull a crowd. So, Melbourne what is up tonight? Again we are left to question the idea that Melbourne has a thriving live music scene, certainly tonight didn’t feel it. Either way, a few of us tastemakers and appreciators of good music, did our bit to support the support, in this case the greatly talented Wesley Fuller. With his band close by, Fuller played through a confident set, played just as he would if it were in front of 1000 punters. From tunes to lyrics, from energy to presence, Fuller has all the makings of Australia’s answer to Jake Bugg.
Hype equally surrounds Wild Honey and rightfully so, with an impressive list of cuts that draws upon the 60s and bands of the 90s, from the rhythms and swagger of Primal Scream and The Charlatans to the harmonies and playfulness of The Byrds and The Small Faces. Like Wesley Fuller, TWL were delighted to discover the band back in December last year, their cut ‘Eye to Eye’, a moment of summery vibes helped by some excellent lead vocals and very familiar sounding songs. In the studio, the band are complete, their sound confident and layered, however live, it all felt repetitive, formulaic and lacking originality. Their songs are not bad, far from it, but with all the musical noise that surrounds, they will really need to reconsider how their songs play out live. There was some great moments in their set tonight, ‘Pull It Together’ and their latest cut ‘Spirit’ were stand outs and show signs of a band who, with a bit more focus on their own self-worth, will hopefully see the band break through. Let’s wait and see.
By the time The Lulu Raes meandered on to the small stage at NCS, it was clear the band had a drinking session, looking and acting all ‘pre-tanked’ the joyous and confident Sydney gang smirked their way to their instruments. By no means to encourage drinking at such tender ages (sic), they looked great and were really ready to party, as where the crowd, who by now were huddled around the stage.
Fresh from a hectic touring schedule and playing at BIGSOUND 2016, still exciting by the buzz they created, tonight Melbourne was theirs, they were here to party, and that they did. Eddie Bomber Burton is our saviour to what it is to be a front man, even at such a young age and perhaps under the influence of a few too many beers, his confidence was exactly what we expect from a front man, it reminded us how few there are amongst the younger upcoming bands out there. In-between heckling his band members and the crowd, Burton threw himself over the crowd and encourage his fans onstage.
Live, the band take their music to a whole new level, their sound is heavier, gritty and bordering early 60’s post-punk with the boasting energy of 90s Britpop, it felt nostalgic and brought a smile to the 1 of 2 of us who were 35 years old and above. The Lulu Raes played through a set that pretty much completed their entire back catalogue, from ‘Burnout’ ‘The Way Life Runs’ ‘Never Leave’ and ‘My Mid 20s’ all sounding full, playful and slightly messy.
Tonight felt like a celebration, less about playing through an accomplished set and all about a time to party, let hairs down and shuffle on and off the stage. Many of the punters at NSC were unarguably keen fans, singing along to the lyrics and moving to the beat, clearly knowing every verse and every chorus. Stand out moments came from an elder lady (maybe the Mum of one of the band members) who took to the stage, dancing and singing her heart out, the audience loved it, encouraged it, and the band were besides themselves in laughter. It was simply a whole of fun, no one really cared that Burton wasn’t on key or lyrically competent tonight.
Their new material sounded excellent live, far heavier than their other material, almost sounding like a mashup of Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, powerful and again another layer of confidence in their growth as a band. The Lulu Raes have all the markings of being one of the best bands in 2017 and may well have the ability to crack an international market if they just keep their shit together.