Live Review: Free Time, Beaches, Angel Eyes, Gregor

18 July 2016 | 2:30 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"It's at their most accessible that Free Time shine."

Tonight The Tote is packed; every which way you look there is something trying to grab your attention. In the main bandroom, Gregor kick off the night and at their most tense they sound like they're playing soft psychedelic-rock. When they go instrumental, it feels as if it is indie-folk-infused Australiana, but with personality behind it. With party balloons all around the shop, it's a great way to begin a party although it's hard not to drift off during the band's less engaging moments.

Angel Eyes follow and it starts out as a set of delicate electronica with a touch of a singer-songwriter aesthetic. Atmospheric walls of sound form with each song as they progress and it's the changing moods of each piece that become the vehicle that drives you to get lost in the music. It is an introspective journey throughout, courtesy of one of Melbourne's more underrated down-tempo/experimental electronic exports and this set is, without a doubt, a highlight of the night.

Come Beaches, the room fills up for a rock'n'roll show and that is certainly what we get. It's hard to find a vantage point, but tonight the band feel a little less engaging in comparison to past performances on this same stage. Beaches feel slightly restrained and uneven, but still deliver the basics of a good show (which, by now, Beaches can do with their eyes shut). By the time they wrap up it feels as if they're just getting started and leaves us wanting more, but you already filled up on free bread before your meal came.

Rounding out the night and launching their latest piece of wax In Search Of Free Time, Free Time take the stage before a well lubricated audience and, through their charm, it works to their advantage. The first thing we notice is how tight the band is. Each member plays their sections with such ease and a sense of professionalism that's nothing short of admirable and a joy to watch. Their good time Australiana pop is lost on the audience in some of the less engaging numbers, but the rest is exemplified by the gooey singalong fun of All Four Seasons. It's at their most accessible that Free Time shine and they win over the masses by the end of their set, no doubt selling a record or two from the merch desk.

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