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Live Review: Japanese Wallpaper, LUCIANBLOMKAMP, Klo

24 November 2014 | 12:02 pm | Annelise Ball

Japanese Wallpaper brings some luscious tunes to Melbourne Music Week

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Kelvin Club gets hip with the kids tonight thanks to Laneway and Melbourne Music Week. Upstairs, electro-pop duo Klo begin with their chilled, breakthrough track Make Me Wonder. Singer Chloe Kaul looks cute as a button in a backwards baseball cap, her long hair blowing free thanks to the giant fan parked next to the stage. Kaul provides rich vocals while her cousin Simon Lam works the decks, providing backing entertainment to a crowd more interested in chatting and swigging Melbourne Bitter tinnies.

By the time LUCIANBLOMKAMP appears, the venue heaves with punters streaming in and out sampling tonight’s Live Music Safari free gig buffet. Starting with the dark, ambient beats of Saudade, which is made even more unnerving by a haunting violin solo, LUCIANBLOMKAMP sets a lusciously eerie tone. Watching him get lost in the moment as he swings the bow back and forth over the strings is sweetly captivating. Atmospheric, dark and exceptionally beautiful, LUCIANBLOMKAMP exerts enough musical force to hush this sweaty, pushy, tightly packed crowd.  

Seventeen-year-old triple j Unearthed High winner Japanese Wallpaper (aka Gab Strum) takes the stage after clearly producing a good enough fake ID to fool the bouncers. Struggling early with a dodgy mic that keeps refusing to work, the poor guy covers his face and shakes his head, which prompts sympathetic “ooh”s and encouraging claps from the crowd. Strum recovers beautifully with a remix of The Townhouses’ Diaspora, tapping out tones on a drum pad that sounds as sweet as church bells while tinkling away on a tiny keyboard.

He covers Grizzly Bear’s Knife with a soft, ethereal touch, the drum pad now creating tones that sound just like empty bottles being tapped by a spoon. It’s so gorgeous that the crowd hushes, swaying and bobbing while sipping their tinnies. Cheers welcome the opening sounds of Between Friends, with tinkling bells and whirling zings now emerging from the decks. Dancing girls in the front rows raise their hands in the air, clearly getting into the zone. When all the luscious tunes sadly end, the crowd floods back down the narrow staircase ready to find the next gig to sample as part of tonight’s jam-packed, Melbourne Music Week Live Music Safari initiative.