Live Review: Hunting Grounds, Yacht Club DJs

15 July 2012 | 8:50 am | Dominique Wall

Ballarat youngsters, Hunting Grounds, are celebrating the very recent release of their debut album, In Hindsight, with tonight's launch party of said album. The choice of venue is, without a doubt, an interesting one for the night's festivities, given the acts involved – after all, the LuWow is renowned for its exoticness and lounge-arama. Yacht Club DJs are now, ironically, the support act for the band who used to support them (and not all that long ago, either), and it is during their set that the clash of styles between venue and act are brought to a nasty head. Once you have come to expect a certain level of style and sophistication from a venue and its musical offerings, it is unnerving to hear something so far out of character, but such is the case with Yacht Club DJs. Thankfully, the Island Village offers refuge for those who find it all a little too much.

Taking their places on stage fashionably late, the launch party's guests of honour Hunting Grounds, dressed in a uniform of white shirts and black pants, get the proceedings underway with little fuss. Putting forward a very moody front, they kick off their set with the album opener, and title track, In Hindsight. The setlist for tonight follows the album's tracklisting (apart from a couple of add-ins), so we're soon into Star Shards, however, by the end of the song, the boys are hit by the first “technical difficulty” of the night when something goes wrong with the bass amp. Michael Belsar attempts to entertain the crowd during the downtime, but things are soon back on track and they continue to work their way through the album. Technical difficulties strike again later on when the snare breaks, but that's it for the rest of the set, thankfully, in terms of problems. The whole set is fantastic, but the highlight is definitely their excellent cover of Beastie Boys' Sabotage, dedicated to MCA.

There are so many elements to Hunting Grounds that are working in their favour – not only do they have strong songs, but they are also able to deliver a performance that is engaging, emotional (at times) and entertaining, and that is no mean feat. To watch Lachlan Morrish on vocals is to bear witness to an intense delivery that is reminiscent, even if only faintly, to that of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. This is powerful stuff.

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