Live Review: Fraser A Gorman

18 July 2015 | 11:57 am | Sarah Barratt

"He could very well be the demure guy next door who sits on his porch, strumming his guitar, turning the mundane into the extraordinary."

Photos by Joshua Braybrook

Photos by Joshua Braybrook

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Fraser A Gorman strolls around the Gaso making small talk before his set, watching Crepes and The Bluebottles, giving you the impression they’re all good mates.

Crepes set the scene with some four-piece indie rock with a pop/synth inclination. It’s pretty standard psychedelic stuff, for which the band apologises, saying that they'd got into some rosé the night before, ending in things getting a little too psychedelic. Next up are fellow four-piece Melbourne lads The Bluebottles. They’re the relax-o, surfer rock, up-tempo sound of a Waikiki surf contest in the summer. They would be in good company on a Tarantino soundtrack. 

Fraser A Gorman looks unmistakably like a young Dylan, wrinkle-free and with curly hair that bounces all on its own. His intonation is often the same as Dylan's too, which makes the words sound more like spoken word poetry with inflections up and down off the same note.

This gig celebrates the release of his album, Slow Gum, which is easy-listening country/folk, perfect for long drives. It’s a relatively full house of swayers that are being transported to an earlier, simpler time. The room is full of other notable Melbourne musos coming down to support their mates and see what all the fuss is about. For more upbeat sections, Gorman and Jarrad Brown on bass let loose on country twang and harmonica. Gorman speaks of Johnston Street, funny characters they see in the street, walking along train tracks and women not knowing what they want.

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The drumming from Andy Thomson is subdued at times, which lulls everyone back into their syncopated swaying. Above all, Gorman is a loveable, charismatic frontman who gels really well with the other three players (James Fleming on keys being the third). He could very well be the demure guy next door who sits on his porch, strumming his guitar, turning the mundane into the extraordinary. His big smile and warm demeanour welcomes the audience into his world, which is not far from theirs. Shiny Gun shows off the tightness of the band, everyone hitting their cues perfectly as Gorman shows off his riffing prowess. In the same way Courtney Barnett is highly exportable, Gorman sounds like he can go the same way. He's slick, projects the ‘everyman' and, from the between-song banter, speaks as if he’s been on stage forever.