There is a nautical irony that the band Coasts headlined a venue called The Shipping Forecast, and this was probably lost on the crowd. The summer vibe created by an on-stage palm tree convinced me that, if spread through the airways, sailors would flock to it. Yet the event comprised of more than just Coasts. It’s not often that a band’s support can compare in terms of musical quality, let alone the opening act; but local band Vandettes came pretty damn close.
Pulling a new guitarist in tow, these guys are the first I’ve heard able to make crooning sound like a statement. Playing original music with heaps of passion and talent to match, I’d recommend catching these guys’ next gig if you can. The frontman’s penchant for utilising an assortment of percussion instruments to accentuate his mesmerising voice was a delight to hear; think Alt-J meets Yannis Philippakis. Vandettes were a hard act to follow, and the younger act Run Tiger Run were really put through their paces. Relying upon a simpler and more melodic brand of Indie- Rock, each song melded into the next one, but stopped rather abruptly as their set ended. It seemed a lot like they needed to get the basics down, to walk before they Run Tiger Run… Throughout the night a relaxed atmosphere was created by the intimately low ceiling of The Hold, with it’s bare brick walls, cold beer and parabolic roof. The set times for acts were refreshingly flexible, I was told that the bands would “just go for it” when they were ready. In contrast to the high intensity mission favored by some promoters, the guys running the Coasts tour conducted the night with chilled out ease. MOATS were a band whose drummer had a lipstick kiss smeared across one cheek, whose frontman rocked an American football shirt with a beenie and still absolutely killed it. With an EP coming out in November, and a band member who asked me to engrave them into my heart, I was thoroughly impressed with this four piece. They ask their listeners to define genre themselves. Despite having “not really having seen each other” in four months, it was impossible to tell, as each member played to each other and a rapt audience to the very highest of standards. They made music to fit the night, worked the crowed up ready for Coasts, and once again stood toe to toe with the headline act in terms of really good music. Coasts headlined for a reason though; and the reason is a good one. They rock. Exploding into the mainstream earlier this year with ‘Stay’, their early 90’s attire, charming manner and talent make for all the trappings of the next big thing. It was a performance that had been played to perfection many times before, and yet the emotions onstage felt genuine, and that infected the crowd. They say in their manifesto “We want to make music that makes people happy and want to dance”; they certainly managed it, with plenty of jumping and even some impromptu dance offs erupting around the room. I came for Coasts, but I didn’t want to leave for anything. Unfortunately I had to, as of course, life goes on after the music has ended.