Live: Sheppard @ Ding Dong Lounge – 06/06/13

With their hit “Let me Down Easy” pervading Australian airways, and a recently completed US tour in their back pocket, there has been a lot of hype surrounding Brisbane outfit Sheppard.On June 6, I went to the Ding Dong Lounge to check them out at their EP launch and see what all the talk was about. The band’s live set was a welcome surprise. I was skeptical about their appeal toward age groups other than tweens, but their sound was definitely radio ready, and they clearly have the pop formula for success down pat.They were rowdy from the get go and full of energy, smiling their big smiles throughout. Songs accompanied by “oohs” and “ahhs”, hand clapping, and danceable beats, made it easy to get them stuck in your head. It was hard not to bop along when everyone in the room was bubbling with liveliness and excitement.The band’s set was extremely varied. It was interesting to hear the different influences mixed in their songs; tunes such as “Smile”, with its Hawaiian feel, got the audience grooving, and “Hold My Tongue” was a likeable indie pop number. “These People” had an almost country sound, and there were a few darker emotional moments thrown in for good measure. It was like being on a rollercoaster of melodic style.Also impressive was sibling-singing duo, George and Amy. Clearly they are the real deal, with big voices and an infectious sense of fun. There was something inherently natural about their entire performance, especially with Amy. She shone with her blue glittered hair, and it was difficult to keep your eyes off her as she belted her way through a number towards the end. Sheppard, of course, departed on their hit single, which was met with the audience singing and clapping along enthusiastically.All in all, even though Sheppard is not my usual cup of tea, it was nice to watch a pop band with raw musical talent. It made their entire success story all that much more believable.by Radhika Chopra

June 13th 2013
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