The Holidays & Gold Fields – East Brunswick Club, 10th of April

If there was ever any such thing as sonic family gathering, Gold Fields, a tribal five-man troupe hailing from Ballarat, would be the energetic younger cousins of a slightly more matured Sydney quartet, The Holidays. Both outfits have a similar kind of organic energy at the core, but add different textures and layers to create two related sounds that on paper make a perfect gig pairing.The scene is the East Brunswick Club on a Sunday night. Following a sold out show at the same venue the previous evening, an intimate, more relaxed crowd was going to be a tough ask to conquer. As Gold Fields limbered to the stage, completely at ease, it seemed they were also feeling the chilled-out vibe. But suddenly fuse was lit, and in the space of their instrumental opener – where as many as four band members were prancing around the stage pounding a plethora of drums in the same moment – the room suddenly had acquired a new, tropical energy.It was clear that on the back of their recent UK tour, Gold Fields have become a tight live act. By the time their first single ‘Treehouse’ came along late in the set, even the most sluggish of patrons were tapping their toes and swinging their hips. To finish out the set the young lads threw the kitchen sink at it, with frontman Mark Fuller dancing around the drum ensembles in a cyclonic way that could rival Nic Offer of Chk Chk Chk fame. One of their most likeable aspect though, was their pleasantly arrogant stage presence. This is a band who’re riding a wave of early success, and it’s not hard to see why.Before long the headliners had taken the stage; and with the palate already wetted for the sounds of tropical drumming and eerie guitar riffs, anticipation was high among the crowd. As lead singer Simon Jones erupted into the first melody from ‘Heavy Feathers’, there were some obvious issues with the overpowering drums and guitar amps. Thankfully, however, this problem was adjusted before the next song, ‘Moonlight Hours’, and with the crowd being able to clearly hear the vocals this time, the venue was well and truly buzzing at the peak of this popular tune.From there, the vocal brilliance of Jones continued to climb, with him visibly concentrating on sprooking the notes to perfection in ‘2 Days’ and ‘6 am’. The front man did a solid job of reproducing some of what he announced to the crowd as “fucking hard songs to sing”, while Magnus (lead guitar, keys), Kortt (bass guitar) and Kerridge (drums/percussion) also impressed with their energy and skill.  Jones’s outward love of the Melbourne crowd was being well and truly reciprocated as a favourite B-side of the band, ‘Triangle’, (which for some reason didn’t make it onto the album) was also received extremely well, despite being unfamiliar to most. As ‘Broken Bones’ was performed the audience once again mellowed, but this time at the bands’ mercy. ‘Congo’ lifted the mood back up, with the experimental congo-synth rock sounds resonating beautifully around the East Brunswick Club. The finale was predictably ‘Golden Sky’, however there was nothing lackluster about it, with a lot of love clearly flowing between the performers and their captive audience.The latest fashion that is sweeping the Australian music scene (let alone the rest of the world) seems to be blending genres of music together; but besides the hybrid of guitar-based pop and tropical sounds lending so well to each other, the most notable thing was the love that was flowing between the band members and the crowd – something that can’t be practiced, bought, or tangibly captured. Next time you’ll have to be there.- Dannika Bonser

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