"Imperfect high notes and timid stage banter were all the more endearing and allowed for the crowd to bask in Iansek’s vulnerability."
All the mulled wine and spiced rum in the world couldn’t have taken the chill off the air on Saturday night. An evening of early ‘90s pop, slow jams and beautiful rock balladry was just what was needed to warm the insides of all who braved the Rosemount’s lofty halls.
Flower Drums tapped into a lot that was good about ambient pop in the early ‘90s. Full of energy, they charmed a considerably-sized crowd with dreamy synths and smooth R&B hooks, and also demonstrated that sometimes all you need is a funky bass riff and the rest of the song will write itself. Melbourne’s Slum Sociable brought an injection of sleazy trip hop washed with crooning jazz vocals and gave everyone a brief insight into what Muse might’ve sounded like if they were from New Orleans.
For a man of such a gracious and unassuming disposition, Tom Iansek (appearing as the adorably-named #1 Dads) wrought out so much emotion on stage that it was hard not to wonder where it all came from. Imperfect high notes and timid stage banter were all the more endearing and allowed for the crowd to bask in Iansek’s vulnerability as he sailed through tracks from last year’s About Face and 2011 LP, Man Of Leisure. Choice cuts in My Rush and Blood exposed Iansek’s reflective side and had a couple slow-dancing in a corner at one point. Tom Snowdon appeared out of nowhere to accompany Iansek and band through Return To – Snowdon’s astonishingly Gregorian voice channelling Antony Hegarty and silencing the room that, quelle surprise, was having a bit of difficulty shutting the hell up. Ainslie Wills was guest number two, gorgeously performing So Soldier and managing to rise above the loud guitars in the mix. After rounding out his set with catchy sidewalk tripper Camberwell, Iansek hinted that this might be the last time we see #1 Dads for a while and brought both Snowdon and Wills back out to stun everyone with a jaw-dropping cover of FKA Twigs’ Two Weeks, leaving the stage to thunderous applause and a quiet hope in your reviewer that with such a surplus of talent, Iansek doesn’t go too far for too long.