Live Review: Australian Music Week Friday

24 November 2015 | 2:16 pm | Tanya Bonnie Rae

"Lead singer Rob Saunders' voice is impeccable. It sounds and feels pure, genuine, down to earth."

The painfully sweltering 42-degree afternoon did little to dissuade Sydney-based indie rock/folk five-piece Bears With Guns from rocking it on stage, barefoot and in board shorts, with the sincerest, most appreciative grins plastered on their faces during the course of their set.

They kicked off with Terms & Conditions, off their debut EP released in 2012, followed by Taken For A Fool. Props to the newer members of the group who stuck it out in the disgustingly scorching heat, in particular the dude on electric guitar who almost gave the lead singer a run for his money. Bears With Guns give off a very earthy kind of Mumford & Sons vibe, and it really works to their advantage.

Lead singer Rob Saunders' voice is impeccable. It sounds and feels pure, genuine, down to earth and completely relatable. They continued their set with Wandering Soldier, which is not only undeniably catchy but is played and sung with heart and soul. The band end their set with a new track titled The Deep End and praise the audience for coming out: "Thank you for supporting independent music!"

Hailing from Melbourne, self-titled "nature beat" music maker Flamingo Jones brought incredibly eclectic jungle vibes to the stage with three mates on guitars and drums behind him. Using a variety of instruments (maracas, tambourine, drums) and samples of everything from kookaburra calls to chirping crickets, he managed to create a truly interesting and uniquely diverse sound.

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As an audience member, you could feel the Latin, African and Spanish influences bouncing off and around the stage, and after every two or three songs, one of the guitarists would repeat a verse in Spanish to a crowd. It was fantastic and completely unexpected, even following through from the calypso-infused salsa beats. Along with Bears With Guns, Flamingo Jones is one young, talented Aussie act you may just want to keep your eye on over the summer.